WHAT ON EARTH! you may be asking yourself. Well, let me explain.
Every once in a while my husband and I treat ourselves to a relaxing day away and this past weekend was one such opportunity. Joining our son at a resort near Brainerd, MN, we kicked back and renewed our connection with nature as we used to do nearly every weekend before our wedding schedule changed our focus. Mother Nature was a little touchy and she chased us indoors but we enjoyed the break nevertheless. Of course at my husband's strong urging, I brought a camera along "just in case" even though we were supposed to be on R&R. Thank goodness I listened to him as we encountered something that I am still having difficulty believing that we witnessed.
My husband and I have tried on numerous outings to capture an image of this extremely skittish bird with little success. At the resort where we stayed this past weekend, there was a small protected boat launch and harbor with what appeared to be a resident heron. He/she seemed very relaxed and unaffected by the foot and car traffic passing close by. So much so, this bird allowed me to get out of the car and approach to create his/her "portrait". I was astounded, watching this beautiful but bedraggled looking bird, standing on the water's edge in the rain, as though it were hanging out waiting for the party to begin.
Frame after frame, I was able to capture it's image as he/she allowed me ever closer. Then, my breath caught in my throat as I realized it was looking for dinner and I was about to see it capture live prey right before my eyes!
Spoiler alert - stop reading right now if you are a turtle lover!
One minute, preening, the next, fishing for food. The capture, a thrashing shake of the head to stun the prey, a quick gulp, long swallow, and little baby turtle is no more.
My extreme sympathies to Mama turtle and I can only hope little baby was unconscious when the end came. Mother Nature is a wondrous thing, even if she can be violent in the midst of all her beauty. The pictures tell the story.
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