November 10th, 2009

Egrets Reading

A Night Heron’s Fish

I live near Fantasy Island.

The Queen Anne’s cottage in the opening credits of the old TV show is actually physically located in the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia, California. This is just a short car ride from my home.

Because I’m a member of the Arboretum, I sometimes spend a few hours walking there after Mass on Sunday mornings. I’ve always enjoyed the path to the lagoon through the Jungle Garden. Even if you’ve never been to Arcadia, you know this place.

It’s where the Tarzan movies were filmed. If you’ve ever seen Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in leech-infested waters in "The African Queen," watched "Anaconda," or the 1998 Disney version of “The Jungle Book,” or any of another hundred movies or TV episodes, you’ve been there.

Down by the water, there’s a palm tree that grows in an upward arc over the water. At this spot, you almost always see a black-crowned night heron.

Or two of them.

Sunday was no exception. As I sat on the base of the palm tree and fellow poet Lindy Hill sat on a tree stump, we watched a night heron for about ten minutes, including about five minutes where it toyed with its fish.

fantasy island
the fish almost too big
for a night heron