I always and only think of herons as solitary birds. It has been my assumption to date that any and all romantic machinations herons undertake are probably dealt with via the Royal Mail.
Dearest Isabella, I can’t begin to tell you how much your personalised floral notelet correspondence has meant to me. I shall always remember you as the enigmatic siren of the English waterways, with your skinny, knobbly, legs, your Notre Dame-esque hunch and your face like a young Hitler with a beak. It is best that we treasure our time together and never meet again. You are now with egg.
Clarence, you bastard. You took advantage of me while I was catatonic and staring into the muddy waters of the Middlewich Branch. My legs, shoulders and face are just perfect, thank you, it is you who looks as though you’ve forgotten to retract your undercarriage whenever you fly off – and while we’re on the subject of metaphorical undercarriage, might I just say that you really ought to have yours upgraded, perhaps to full-size… I shall be seeking egg-support, of course, and you may expect a personalised floral notelet from my solicitors.
That sort of thing.
Well, yestereve, I was hopping like a loon over the Cardinal affixing tonneau covers against the threats of thunder, lightning and monsoon, when I noticed that in the field next to was not one, but two herons.
[notable bene: I checked with the Oxford, and it is “herons”, not “heron” – apparently heron are not like sheeps or cow, both of whom have the magical ability to form their own plurals.]
Do herons congregate overnight? All day spent in the office on the side of the towpath, fishing for family comestibles, then home in the evening for a swift kick in the nuts and a lecture on how mother never approved? They certainly behaved like a post-honeymoon heterosexual couple; distance maintained, backs to one another, body-language all in fruity Anglo-Saxon and peppered with visceral shudders.
Then I noticed a third heron in the field, keeping even more of a distance, and looking perhaps like a first-time loner introvert with body-space issues trying to join a Huggers & Kissers Anonymous meeting.
Three in one field. Were they simply there for a brief business meeting at dusk or there for the night, the equivalent of some kind of heron orgy, social, sexual, or simply the better to protect themselves from marauding gangs of recently bereaved moorhen and duck, looking for nocturnal vengeance?
Vigilante gangs are roaming the countryside, looking for the killers of Mandy, Martin and Mable McMoorhen. Police are asking the feathered public to be on the lookout for the killers of Daphne, Derek and David d’Duck. That sort of thing?
My apologies for the poor kwality of the photographs, the beasties were on the very limit of my pocket-rocket’s zoom capabilities, and it was dusk…
Further observations are called for.
Anyway, the semi-promised, semi-threatened weather did not materialise (something wrong with the Met Office’s TARDIS, mayhap?) so my fiddling and farting about with the canvas covers was to avail me nought in re inclemency.
Twas all very pretty though, and I do love a good cloud. If any Rolls-Royce dealers are reading, I especially love a good Silver Cloud III, and would provide a stable and loving home. Burgundy or Midnight Blue, please. With air-conditioning.