Saturday, November 15, 2008


I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off (as usual), busy with last-minute preparations for a local craft show.

"Come look!" My husband was very excited. "I think it's a Bittern!"

My reaction involved trudging and muttering. I was busy. We had to leave soon. Not that I wouldn't love to see a Bittern; I'd only seen one once before, at the coast. They're secretive birds. But my husband, always a birding optimist, has a track record for thinking that other things are Bitterns.

He was right though. It was indeed an American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus.

"You can use the pictures for the triumphant return of Rurality!" I had to laugh, but it really was time to start back. It was October 4th, and I'd been rude for two and a half months already.

Then the next week I caught the crud that's been going around here, and was down, down, down, for way too long. I was in the clutches of a cold that had managed two years at Influenza Junior College. ("In the grippes of it," she said, going for the year's most obscure pun.)

And there was an insidious feature. Every day, I thought I'd be much better in just another day or two. I missed the trip to Georgia I'd been planning for months. I also missed the Native Plant conference that was the brightest thing on the calendar in five years, and that I'd already paid $100 to attend. (That I probably could have gotten a refund for, if not for the insidious feature.)

So anyway, when I finally could force myself to move around, I had a lot of catching up to do in a hurry, soapmaking-wise, before the last and biggest show of the year. So no time for Rurality. (All of this in explanation to those folks I told that I was just about to start back, and then didn't. Sorry!)


Katie B said...

He's Beautiful!!! Now aren't you glad you took out time for a picture?!

Dani said...

I've never seen one before, but I have hope.

Deb said...

I have had a few bittern moments here; glad you got to enjoy this one!

Welcome back!

Rose Connors said...

Way cool! You got a bittern! Happy to see you back.

W. Latane Barton said...

Glad to see you back with your blogging. I've missed seeing your things and hearing your chatter. We Alabama gals have to stick together, don't we?

robin andrea said...

Beautiful Bittern. I've never seen one. I'll have to check the Sibleys to see if they're here on the central coast.

Pat said...

I never heard of a bittern! See, us city folk need your blog. Glad you're back

Ontario Wanderer said...

Bitterns are always special. Glad you got the photo and found time to share!

Rurality said...

Katie, yes! That second one I took throught he scope, and it turned out better than I thought it would.

Dani, they are very cool, chubby characters.

Thanks Deb! Now hubby will probably be seeing Least Bitterns everywhere. :)

Rose, yep! Finally, after 4+ years living near a pond, we finally got one. I think the fact that the ponds have grown up with rushes and such around the edges have attracted more wildlife.

Thanks WLB! Yep, even if some of us move off to another state. :)

RA, yes he was lovely and quiet and not too perturbed at us looking at him. I don't know if these guys are out west or not.

Pat, I probably wouldn't have either, if I hadn't taken a class on birdwatching. I notice all kinds of birds now that I never knew existed before. (I thought a cuckoo was just a clock invention, but no!)

OW, I hope we get the Least Bittern next.

Annie in Austin said...

The Bittern was one of my kids' favorites on the bird page of the Richard Scarry Word Book. After reading the book over and over for decades seeing your photo might have triggered the name even without the words.

I haven't run into any bitterns in real life but hope you see a Least Bittern as a major award for surviving la grippe.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Rurality said...

Annie, I haven't seen that - sounds cool!

nina said...

Wow--a Bittern.
It's not every day THAT crosses your path!
Be ready...what's next??

lisa said...

Hey, I missed you but feel your pain as well. Between health issues, work, and home chores, my blog's only been updated once a month or so. We do what we can, eh? :) Glad you're back!

Pamela said...

it was a sign!!

Julie said...

Can you look at my blog? I thought I saw something similar, but I thought it to be a Green Heron. Here is the link. If you could comment on my blog or email me please at