Flight of Fancy

They stand upon their pelagic kingdoms, looking past watery acres and the silvery minions flashing their livery beneath the waves.  Noble and chaste, they balance on the currents with a white, feathery poise.  

In A Land Faraway

Boyfriend, A Board and A Bird

Wrapped in the blue air, the maritime fragrances of kelp and salt, their bodies are antediluvian and unchanged.  Their ancient plans are betrayed only when the prehistoric arms are silhouetted in the revealing sunlight.  They dared evolution, and soared over the writhing natural world below.

And when they fly over the ocean, their pale reflection melts into the waters below, like a warm frost, like a memory merging with hidden, oceanic realms.  Necks fold and bend like corsets, but the legs are free, like yellow-tipped rudders.  Their movement is slow and leisurely, a royal wave flying through the air.

A Leisurely Journey

They land on rocks, in a rush of wind and white.  They walk with disjointed grace, each limb engaging in a graceful life that is refined, but separate.  The light is creative with their feathers – in the shadow, it rides the silhouette in a single, radiant outline, then dissolves into a lavender dusk. 

Behind The Foam

 In the sunlight, they become a blast of unspoiled, blank color that blinds in its purity.

Pond Prowling

Their name comes from the French word “aigrette” – a word that also refers to the feathers that bloomed from ladies’ turbans and from their jeweled foreheads during the breathless years before World War I.  The world had discovered color, craved exoticism, and women indulged in rich shadows, paints and stolen decorations.

Fashion Demands

In 1918 a law was passed, preventing the harvesting of feathers…causing the turbans and hats to tremble, like angels when they first felt the birth-pangs in their shoulders.   Wings sprouted from their brims, alive and blood-warm with their ancient DNA.   They then flew away: back into the wild, nautical air, towards heaven, towards their kingdoms in the sea.


12 responses to “Flight of Fancy

  1. Lyrical and simultaneously informative – my favourite kind of writing. I love “the silvery minions flashing their livery” and your comparison of the egrets’ flight to a “royal wave”. Very pleasurable read.

  2. Love your lyricism and photos. and what a cool contrast with wave, surfer and bird.
    always glad to see and moreover hear your ocean views!

  3. where the heck does boyfriend surf that egrets can also stand?!? I’m soooo confused. seriously!

    i love the birds but it makes me sad when I see them, usually in Irvine, standing along the freeway.

  4. I’m happy to pass on an award with a recommendation to my readers to check out your site. You can see it here if you like.

  5. Beautiful prose so suited to such an elegant creature!

  6. Very pretty. And thanks for introducing me to the word aigrette. That is quite something!

  7. aubrey: really, you should consider tagging some of your posts as poetry. RT

  8. Oh, I love those little white egrets! I’ve never liked that their beautiful feathers were once used for hats and collars. We still can see them prancing in marshes and shallows all over the U.S. however.

    Your boyfriend looks very graceful on his board. Not unlike a bird himself!

  9. Barbara Rodgers

    Poignant and sweetly lyrical prose – I especially love the “Behind The Foam” shot, a lovely composition!

  10. Hello..Long time gone..love the word ‘pelagic’..thanks..your penwork is really beautifully expressive..have a gud one..Peace Tony

  11. “Chaste” is the perfect word. Even more than the herons, egrets seem self-contained and unsullied, absolutely approachable and utterly remote at the same time.

    As you (may) know, I work on boats. In a current marina, a lovely trawler carries the name: No Egrets

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