One day in late summer a Great Blue Heron came stalking along the edge of the Rideau River. Gradually, he came closer until he arrived at the small spillway we had installed at the edge of our garden. Up he came, passing within a few feet of the two of us who were lazing in our lawn chairs. Some lingering bits of feather fluff on the top of his head betrayed his young age.

Further up into the garden he went. He posed beside a border of flowers along the garden for some photos. Then he walked back down to the riverbank to our wharf, where he stopped once again for more photos.

From the wharf he flew to the nearby rowboat which had been dragged up on shore and posed again for photos. This bird was totally unafraid because by this time, the children were home from school and, like the Pied Piper, he stalked majestically across the neighbour’s garden, leading a gaggle of excited youngsters.

Altogether, he wandered through our yard and nearby for well over an hour. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be that close to a heron.

Elizabeth LeGeyt, Manotick, Ontario, Canada