Predator or prey?

On one of our recent drives along the Mississippi levee, we came upon what appeared at first to be a tranquil scene.  A colony of great egrets, intermixed with a few graceful geese and a great blue heron, was foraging in the shallow water of a flooded farm field.  We sat and watched the peaceful scene for some time.  Then we spotted it.  Sitting on the far shore of the water was a bald eagle, obviously hoping to intimidate and pick off a weaker bird.  After further observation, we spotted a younger eagle sitting high atop a nearby tree.  It was intently keeping a watchful eye over the adult’s progress and encouraging it on.  What had appeared to be a predator in search of small fish or frogs, also turned out to be the potential prey — a hopeful meal for some hungry eagles.  Such is the drama of nature.

“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.”  ~Douglas Horton

The Great Egret and the frog

 

This Great Egret, wading around in the shallow water, had just caught a frog as I happened upon the scene. Not bothered by my presence, he continued to enjoy his tasty treat.

“If you have to swallow a frog, don’t stare at it too long.”  ~Mark Twain

Great Egret

“Calmness is the graceful form of confidence.”  ~Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach