Thursday, 13 August 2015

G B H (Not Grievous Bodily Harm, nor Great Bodily Harm, nor Great Blue Hills) but ...............

GBH  can refer to the crimes of Grievous Bodily Harm (or Great Bodily Harm).  It can also refer to the Great Blue Hills, south of Boston, MA (from which the public radio and television stations WGBH  get their name).

................. in this case GBH does not refer to any of the above -  it's an abbreviation for the Great Blue Heron.

The first time I saw a Great Blue Heron was in the mid-1990's when I was on a sponsored walk for "a good cause".  As we walked alongside  the valley of the Hoosic River, just south of the town of Adams, Massachusetts, we saw a Great Blue Heron in flight.

It was, for me, one of those "wow" moments.  I was seeing sheer beauty.

My next Great Blue Heron sighting was on the beach in Pensacola, FL. in 2006.   It was a windy day.  The heron, feathers all-a-ruffled had its head down.  It looked as woe-be-gone as an ageing Soviet soldier would,  if he or she were commanded to be present on a snowy day  at one of those endless Red Square Parades.


My colleague in Western Massachusetts days, Noel B, now serves in East Greenwich, CT.   She is a great observer of birds and water-fowl at a park called Scalloptown.

Noel is also a fine photographer.  I enjoy her pictures and narrative on Facebook.

She wrote yesterday of the screaming match when one Great Blue Heron flew into the territory of another.

I could "hear" the sound.  Great Blue Herons are beautiful in flight, and ugly in sound. 

Their "call" resembles the sound of Florence Foster Jenkins singing an operatic aria, even as she is being dragged down a tin roof, claw hammer in hand.



I see one Great Blue Heron or another,  "pond-side"  almost every day.  He or she is always alone.

I have never seen a Great Blue Heron "pair".   I have never seen a Great Blue Heron chick.

Where do they mate?  Where do they nest?  Who raises the chicks?

These are genuine questions.    Please respond if you know about such matters.

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