Simple Beauty

We are drawn to shiny, bright objects.

And bigger is always better, right? Dazzling, spectacular, phenomenal, sensational, amazing…. As web content editor for a cruise event company, these are a few of the words I use when writing about new mega-ships. But I’m not so impressed by all the razzle-dazzle. When I’m on a cruise, I prefer the simple pleasures. Morning coffee on my balcony, discovering a quiet reading nook, watching the sun set from a peaceful spot on the deck. Given the choice, I’ll take a small ship over a “floating city” any day.

So what about birds?

Since taking up wildlife photography, I’ve been a fan of the impressive great blue heron, the brilliantly-colored purple gallinule, elegant great egret, and stately night herons. But lately, I’ve discovered the quiet beauty of some smaller and less “spectacular” bird species.

Like the pied-billed grebe.

pied billed grebe

Pied-billed grebe

I always thought this bird was rather dull. That is, until I stopped to watch him swim gracefully underwater and emerge slick and wide-eyed before ducking back into the water. Adorable!

This is another bird I previously judged to be boring – the boattailed grackle. But just look at Mrs. Grackle taking a bath – so cute!

Female grackle taking a bath

Female grackle taking a bath

And I’ve also overlooked the small birds.

Like this sweet little warbler, the common yellowthroat.

Common yellow throat warbler

Common yellowthroat warbler

And this small, secretive rail bird, the sora.


The small sora.

Now here’s a bird that’s so conspicuous in the wetlands, its first name is “Common”. But if I stop to watch, I might catch one doing something….spectacular!

Look at this common gallinule, practicing ballet!

Common gallinule stretches its leg

Common gallinule

Yes, I’m still a fan of the big wading birds and magnificently-plumed species. But I’ve learned to delight in all birds. Each has its own unique beauty. If we only open our eyes to see it.

2 responses to “Simple Beauty

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