Late at night I will sometimes sit out on my deck, enjoying the midnight hour and watching the black-crowned night herons hunt on the docks (William, a young one still in juvenile plumage, often comes by and I saw him with a small silvery fish in its beak, but curiously he didn’t swallow it right away. I’m pretty sure William loves me). It’s peaceful — no construction noise, no clackety dock carts rolling by, no motorboats being rinsed off in the washing area, no neighbors coming and going. Last night I was admiring the gorgeous moon hanging out above the parking lot silos (and is that Jupiter up there?) — it’s still and calm. I noticed a disturbance in the water, just below the surface — then a harbor seal popped up, taking in the scene. I could hear it breathing. It was the coolest thing — harbor seals are not unusual out in the estuary, but this is only the second time I’ve seen one visit B dock. What a wonderful nocturnal hello.
This painting of a night heron (with its mating-season flirt feather on display, stilting through the mossy mud) was commissioned by a lovely neighbor who wants to take our birds with her as she may move north. I hope she stays. Neighbors like her don’t grow on trees.
15″ x 20″ watercolor, ink, pastel on paper