unlikely companions

yesterday i was driving through a somewhat marshy area on the outskirts(-ish) of town, and i suddenly saw the familiar silhouette of a great blue heron ahead. he was standing very near the side of the road, maybe about 4 or 5 feet away, at the edge of some tall bronze grasses. i love herons and i love being able to see one so close, so i was really excited–especially since it was in kind of a strange spot. i was less than .25 miles away from a major intersection where things turn city-fied again, but apparently that was just fine by him. 

anyhow, as i got closer, i slowed a bit so i could gawk at him, and then i suddenly realized that there was a gigantic red-tailed hawk standing with him! he was also about 4 feet from the road, maybe about 4 or 5 feet closer to me. i was totally gobsmacked, and i quickly checked my rear-view mirror to make sure i wouldn't get rear-ended for slamming on the brakes. it was all clear, so i went ahead and ground to a halt right in the middle of the road so i could watch them for a few minutes. the heron didn't seem to mind me so much, but the hawk was very curious about my stopping, and he kept shifting his head to examine my car. 

suddenly remembering that i could, i started struggling to get my iPhone out so i could snap a picture, but before i could get organized the hawk decided that he'd had enough of me, and he up and flew away. the heron then cocked his head and considered me more carefully, but stayed put. i told him he was gorgeous, and decided to leave him alone. i felt a little bad that i freaked out the hawk, but i suppose that's the way it goes.

afterward, of course, i wondered what the heck they were doing together… whether it was just a coincidence, or what. i hope there was nothing icky going on. anyhow, they were soooo pretty, and it was such an unexpected surprise, i was excited for the next 20 minutes. 


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