By Walker Thomas
I glimpsed a great blue heron downstream. With practiced stealth, I worked a wide circle around it, parted some branches and got off a quick shot before it took flight from the clack of my Nikon. My pride was immense.
Ten minutes later, as if to tell me my success was no big whoop, the heron flew up to a nearby rock to watch me fish, and for an hour gobbled up the entrails of trout I caught.
When I had a dry spell, it flew past me to do its own fishing just upstream.
In five minutes, it caught a trout of its own . . .
. . . while an osprey soared overhead.
Earlier the same day, Ken and I had gone upstream to fish for browns at separate spots along the river. As I crossed a meadow en route to rejoin Ken, I watched my feet to avoid getting one caught in the high grass, so I wouldn’t fall face-first like I’d done on a prior summer. When I looked up, four bighorn rams stood watching me from a tight cluster twenty yards away. I missed the shot of my life while I freed myself of my backpack straps and searched the pack for my camera. After all my commotion with the pack, they made a wide circle around me.
A Western day flower riverside
In the late afternoon the rains came-as they often do on late-summer visits to the White mountains-thunderous on my tarp shelter. But in such a place, their beauty offset any discomfort they brought.