Juliette, Juliette, Wherefore Art Thou Juliette – Daily Prompt: Waiting,  Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge: Desire, and Feathers on Friday

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!

~William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliette

Young great blue heron male looks on dejectedly after the female fled.

Besotted young great blue heron male.

For a few weeks, the young great blue heron male had turned his attentions to the older female. At times, it looked like he tried to cosy up to her at every possible opportunity. It was endearing to watch.

It wasn’t the season for mating here, though, it was too late in the summer for nesting. The male was too young to realize that. He wasn’t yet two years old, but heron hormones were kicking in. Regardless of what the calendar said, he was smitten with the older woman.

Young great blue heron male on amorous approach.

Young great blue heron male on amorous approach.

Spying the object of his affection at the upper end of the cove, the young male heron landed a few yards away from her and launched into an amorous strut, at first with wings akimbo and head held high, to show off his strong wings and physique to her.

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Young great blue heron male in amorous display.

Young male in amorous display.

He then pivoted towards her, head arched higher, back feathers erect in his best come-hither pose. He hadn’t yet sorted out the full range of courtship behaviors yet, and it was fascinating to watch his moves evolve over the previous weeks.

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Young great blue heron male changes his mind about taking off after the female.

Young great blue heron male changes his mind about taking off after the female.

The female great blue heron – being older and wiser and more experienced, perhaps – knew that the timing was wrong for mating. She rebuffed our Romeo’s advances at every turn.

This day, she flew off to the west as the young male neared.

Hot on her heels, he started to take off after her but then stopped suddenly without getting fully airborn. Abruptly, he fumbled to regain his footing on the shore, his legs flailing like a clumsy adolescent teenager.

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Young great blue heron male looks on dejectedly after the female fled.

Romeo looked on dejectedly after Juliette fled.

As he stood there on the shore staring after her, even I felt an ache at his dejection.

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Spoiler: While the female rejected the young male great blue heron that summer, he was successful at mating, nesting, and bringing forth two fledglings the following year.

Go Romeo!

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

Thanks also to Ese for her Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Desire prompt.

And also thanks to Prairiebirder Charlotte for her Feathers on Friday nudge.

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(This took place July 25, 2011)

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

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Posted on September 27, 2013, in ardea herodias, Birds, daily prompt, Desire, Ese's Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge, Feathers on Friday, Great Blue Heron, Nature Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. How wonderful that you live near a place that hath such creatures in it!

  2. Great photos! Thanks so much for joining me for Feathers on Friday!

  3. Such a beauty…in the story you told not only with words but also with the photos. Very original take on the theme!
    Thank you for being a part of the challenge.

    • Thanks, glad you like them! It was poignant watching him yearn for his Juliette after she flew off. He just stood there for the longest time, holding his wings in that position.

  4. Wonderful story and so beautifully told and illustrated, Babsje. 🙂 I’m glad that Romeo found a willing mate in the end. I do so like happy endings. 🙂

    • So glad you liked it, thanks for your kind comment! I’m with you – I love happy endings. The young male heron was so adorable and endearing, he was a delight to watch.

  5. Excellent post. Wow,.I’m really impressed with your work!

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