Faceplant! – Daily Prompt: Practice makes Perfect

A simple miscalculation, and he landed with his head thrust beneath the green, beak agape, eyes wide with protective membrane in place.

Great blue heron misses his landing and does a faceplant in a pine tree.

Great blue heron misses his landing.

WordPress has asked us to blog about practice making perfect for a talent we’d like to have. I would love to have the talent to fly and soar and wheel on the winds like the birds, but, lacking feathers, enough about me.

He launched from the limb that overhung the water in a sudden burst of energy, one wing stroke followed by more in rapid succession.

His wings pulled outward, forward, fully extended, then back in another burst bringing him to the tip of the pine bough.

His birdness revealed itself as feet reached forward to grasp the branch, all the while wings fluttered to help him hover into position. To and fro they rapidly fanned the air as he eased into position.

Great blue heron does a faceplant when trying to land in a pine tree.

Great blue heron does a faceplant when trying to land in a pine tree.

The green needled bough sunk under the force of his landing, and for a moment he teetered there, on the edge of his feathers aching for balance.

And suddenly he disappeared!

No, wait, there he is… face down on the soft pine.

A simple miscalculation, and he landed with his head thrust beneath the green, beak agape, eyes wide with protective membrane in place.

Suspense and anxiety were palpable, as I watched his hovering-balancing. His wings at first stretched out flat on the surface, then retracted back and up, and within seconds he was upright and preening once again.

I have never before seen a heron look so utterly birdlike, and so vulnerable, as in those few seconds. One look, and you could see what binds herons with both hummingbird and hawk.

And you could see that sometimes even birds can benefit from practice.

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Thanks to Michelle W. and WordPress for the Daily Prompt nudge.

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(This took place August 2, 2008)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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Posted on September 22, 2013, in ardea herodias, Art, Bird photography, Birds, daily prompt, Great Blue Heron, Nature Photography, Photography, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Love the Great Blue Heron, they are so majestic!

  2. You may not be able to fly, but you are a gifted storyteller.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  3. I suppose he can’t get it right every time. 🙂 So glad he wasn’t hurt.

    • Thanks, I’m glad he was ok, too. When I think back over the literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of landings I’ve watched over the years, I’m surprised I haven’t seen more faceplants. This was the only one.

  4. He probably told the others that the tree moved. 🙂

  5. Oh well, we all make mistakes.

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  2. Pingback: Do I really wish for talent? | Rob's Surf Report

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