“Something very odd is going on in that field. Will you take a look at that? Really, it’s hardly decent!”, thinks the young heron, watching the goings-on across the lake.
“Looks fairly normal to me, just a tranquil horse munching some grass…”, thinks the photographer.
“Hang on a second, are those goats? Goats and horses, do they mix? Well it seems they do, and as it happens everyone seems to be getting on just fine”, concludes the photographer.
“Well, you said fine, but you know, boys will be boys, and goats will be goats”, says the horse. It seems that there is a bit of competition for the attentions of a certain lady goat.
“It wasn’t me!”, says one male goat.
“Wasn’t me either!”, says the other male goat.
“Err, that’s not what I saw”, says the young and slightly outraged heron.
“Seen it all before. No big deal”, says the horse. “Think I’ll eat some more grass”.
“Well, spring is in the air”, thinks the photographer. “Wait a minute, we’re in December, we haven’t even had Christmas yet…very strange times we are living through”.
It was a glorious afternoon at the forest lakes by Rouge Cloitre (the Augustinian Priory of Red Cloister, on the outskirts of Brussels). My friend the heron is often there, standing contemplative by the edge of the lake. On this day, he was sporting a nice spikey quiff, giving him a rather debonaire look.
He had positioned himself on a fallen branch, and had been preening himself. Those fluffy feathers at the very tip of his beak give it away.
This is his rather special home, a medieval priory nestled in the woods, surrounded by lakes. Like the medieval monks who once lived here, the heron is rather found of a spot of fishing, as well as some quiet contemplation of course.
Well, more accurately Swan Pond, but they wouldn’t name a ballet like that, would they? This is the same pond as the Heron’s Domain, but the heron was out fishing elsewhere, so instead I spent some time watching this juvenile swan feeding in the water. He (she?) is usually asleep by the edge, head tucked in nice and snug, or just sitting quietly watching.