December 28, 2016

Heron Party


Kale Fields
Near the creek sits a field of mixed vegetables. Each variety of kale, chard and lettuce shines a different red or green. The harvest crew is quietly working away with the exception of one man who is whistling a beautiful tune that carries across the fields. Beyond them is the creek, which is lined with cottonwood trees, and in those trees, no fewer than 100 white herons are perched. I haven’t a clue as to what they are all doing there, but a few weeks ago they decided that this was the cool spot to be.

Herons Taking Flight

At first, I noticed a group of about 10 on one a lone cottonwood tree overlooking the creek. Driving along the dirt road that follows the creek, I kept a steady, but slow speed to see just how close they would let me get. When I was 30 yards away, the first in the group broke, leading with his long neck, then his huge wings, and finally, his feet tucked under him. He was off, and the rest of the group followed. They did not go far, only a 100 yards or so to another tree.

Heron Footprints

After that first encounter, their numbers kept growing and growing. At one point, there was a panoramic view of cottonwood trees packed with white herons. I asked the crews if they ever remember seeing so many here, and I was relieved to realize that my memory was corroborated by the memories of many others who have spent many more hours than me in those fields.

So, I have been left to speculate as to why these beautiful birds are blessing our farm with their residence. My first reaction was to pat myself on the back for ridding the area of the noxious, invasive weeds that were occupying the space at about 20 feet tall – had the arundo still been there, there is no way those birds would have picked this spot. The second realization is that there clearly must be some abundant source of food in the creek for them, maybe little frogs, maybe little fish, but clearly something is working for them.

Maybe the word got out that this farm was the spot to meet the New Year. If that is the case I can see their point; it is a beautiful spot, and there are no neighbors to complain about the noise.

I hope you all enter the New Year just the way you want to. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to spending 2017 at your doorstep on the weekly schedule you choose. Please schedule for us to be part of your 2017 routine!!!

Enjoy your boxes - Thaddeus