Whether the withering weather will, and home again home again herons #narrowboat #england #canals

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.




  1. One must indeed demand air conditioning in one’s Rolls. 😀 (but then, if one had to demand the A/C, then perhaps that isn’t the Rolls one would want)… magnificent cloud shot, I hope the next wave brought in some of the wet stuff with ’em. 🙂


    1. One thing about the canals around here, they may be all sort of in the back-gardens of the county, but my goodness me they have some horizons! 🙂


    1. I suspect that on the day humans invent the “universal automatic translator” we’ll realise that animal conversation is as dreary as our own generally! It’s supposed to be all territorial threats and calls to mating isn’t it? I do hope that the animals get some fun or at least satisfaction from staring back at us. 🙂

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  2. Herons are strange creatures, usually solitary, they are seen in groups of three sometimes. The time for raising young is just about over so it could be that you are seeing a family group of mother, father and child – waiting for the child to bugger off on its own.

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    1. It is indeed possible, I did’t get to compare the sizes of all three closely – they were all far too moody and “I vont tubby alone” for that. Herons give me guilt trips at the best of times, when I am cruising along and they move, time and again, but only ever fifty yards ahead!

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      1. In regard to sizing – it does not, neccesarily correspond to age. Generally, the youngsters are scruffier than the parents until their plumage has settled. I currently have two Crows, as big as their parents but with very spiky feathers which are not as glossy as the older ones’. Still wanting to be fed by the parents even though they stand next to their supply of seeds and meal-worms.

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    1. Sir, thank’ee kindly, tis much appreciated. I have been alternating between overheating in this weather and struggling to (re-)write the last of the next book. The forecast looks a little cooler next week, fingers crossed!

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        1. A good storm would probably work wonders for the weather at the moment, although I do confess to being a tad wary of lightning ever since, when I lived in Norfolk, my house was struck (minor damage, burnt-out electrics, but major shock – lightning striking is LOUD)!

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  3. I hope the Heron Orgy and/or Rumble didn’t keep you up.

    What will you do if Roll Royce decides to gift you with that car. Besides live in it until the heat wave passes? I feel the Silver Cloud and Mr Wolsey would not be pleasant companions. It would be awkward silences and fidgeting, constantly.

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    1. I was thinking of a couple of davits over the Cardinal’s stern, the Roller could live there, perhaps… 🙂 Seriously, I wouldn’t know what to do with a car these days, haven’t had one for so long – and I don’t even like them (although I was a car freak as a kid and youngster, embarrassingly)… 🙂

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  4. Ooh eck, awesome clouds! As to the Herons, it looked more like a porn show waiting for a bigger audience to me – did you see any advertising running across whilst they waited? I will just say one clap of thunder does not a storm make! Just had the darkening of skies and rumbles prelude again – the sun is now out, so must have been a low flying alien space ship again!

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    1. We could really do with a decent storm – lots of thunder, lots of lightning (all striking somewhere else, away from people and property and wotnots)! The sky has been brooding here for a few days, on and off – and now it seems to be off again… I blame the government.


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