In-town Black-crowned Night Heron. Happy Sunday!

Black-crowned Night Heron, Factory to Pasture Pond, Kennebunk ME

“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus

I am pretty sure this Black-crowned Night Heron has nested at Factory to Pasture Pond for at least four years. At the very least, I have seen it (or another BCNH) there, spring and summer, for each of those years. Now Factory to Pasture Pond is my own name for the place, and it makes it sound much grander than it is. It is actually just a little wetland caught between Factory to Pasture Road and two paved parking lots…the remnant, perhaps of a more extensive wetland that was bisected by the road and contained by pavement years ago. I visit it regularly for dragonflies in the summer. There are turtles, and, at least arguably, Black-crowned Night Herons, and a variety of other common nesting birds…but it is surrounded by factory buildings on 3 sides. By August, in a hot dry summer, it can shrink by a third, but it is a year round pond. And it is only a few blocks from Main Street Kennebunk…definitely “in-town”…not exactly urban, since we are talking a village of 5612 here, but pretty close. 5612 humans and at least two Black-crowned Night Herons. 🙂

I am always amazed at how resilient the creation is. We can pave it. We can cover it over with factory buildings and our houses. We can till it and plant all manner of intensive crops. We can ditch and drain wetlands. We can channelize rivers. We can rearrange and manage the landscape to meet our needs and purposes. But creation, what we call nature, always finds a way back in. Roots crack pavement. Water seeps under roads. Silt fills channels and willows and cattails grow. Great Horned Owls nest in cemeteries. Black-crowned Night Herons nest in parks and on golf courses…and in tiny remnant wetlands right in town. The generous eye sees all this reclaiming of the space we think of as our own, as human space, as a good thing. Creation refusing to take no for an answer. Creation reminding us, always, that we a part and parcel of all that lives, and that all that lives is essential to our being…to our being filled with light and life and hope.

So, seeing the Black-crowned Night Heron at Factory to Pasture Pond in down-town Kennebunk delights me. It is what the generous eye delights to see. Happy Sunday!

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