Skip to main content

Heron on the Dock of the Bay


By Lu Sobredo

At early morning twilight—

that magical time before sunrise, 

a white and gray silhouette

sweeps gracefully across the waters 

of Richardson Bay landing silently 

on the dock not too far from me.

Over the years, I’ve noticed 

the beak at the end of his elongated neck

had grown an orange tint.

His stance, stately with eyes fixed

at something in the water,

I’d say, an unsuspecting prey.

I’ve been witness to this ritual often

for years, almost sixteen

but who’s counting. 

Perhaps, I count every now and then

the number of steps it takes to reach

as close to the beauty 

not many human eyes have seen.

Each time, it has become our game

I wonder how close

to his space on the dock he would allow

my intrusion, and to what end?

After more than a decade

would I finally gain a feathered friend?

Sixteen years is long for playing

hard to get between woman and bird.

Although, I must say

the distance has been reduced,

the physical distance between us

before flying away.

Oh, the exquisite flight he takes,

takes my breath away

as he aims in milliseconds for his prey.

The cycle of life, nature’s ecosystem 

stirs an inner curiosity.

I never tire of our dance, 

the woman and bird in a seeming contract:

he feeds on nature’s wealth

in the coastal waters all the while

the moment feeds this human soul.

Convinced, yes I am, that my heron is a “he.” 

With his pair of long dark legs, 

what else could he be?

Legs stretch out parallel to the sea

when in flight as in a feathery arabesque.

For a prima ballerina no less, a source of envy.

In late spring or early summer, he puts on

a show. He rivals October's Blue Angels over

San Francisco Bay—fighter pilots soaring in the air.

Their other-worldly skills on display. Roaring engines

and the shapely smoke trailing against the skies

are a close match to the heron’s dance—flying

three-hundred-and-sixty circles around

a carefully constructed nesting ground.

The resident heron calls loudly 

and fights for his chosen one.

I may only be an observer on the dock

but do not blame a woman

for falling for this act of love

watching the mating ritual above,

the grandiose movement of wings,

Oh, the joy and excitement it brings.

I’m reminded by well-meaning friends

to stop and smell the roses. And I do.

But who could ignore this gorgeous creature?

Like clockwork, my enigmatic heron sits 

on the dock of the Bay.

And like an adoring friend 

I stand in awe a safe distance away 

How could anyone grow tired of him?

Certainly, not this woman. Never. Not me.

(A whimsical view of the resident heron at our marina in the San Francisco Bay.)  


Poem ©Lu Sobredo

Photo ©James Sobredo

Note: The photo was a gift from James to our friend Sharon Jarvis who had it framed for her wall. 



Popular posts from this blog

Travel and Why Not?

By Lu Sobredo WELCOME to LuTravelsAbroad Website! What's new with me? TODAY I am exploring possible format/design for my LuTravelsAbroad website, for my Blog and Facebook page. Tickled to be launching a new venture. I have this incredible feeling of drive from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. A similar feeling that came over me when I finally realized I will travel abroad again. Travel while disabled, you might ask? Why not? Mother & Son: Midnight in Paris, ©James Sobredo 2004 WHY A TRAVEL BLOG The Travel Blog and Facebook web presence is meant to be a self-help travel corner, and a vehicle for opening up about my personal health journey. When preparing for the 2016 travel, some websites and travel blogs were a great help. While in Spain as I focused on the moment and less and less on what discomfort to anticipate, I gradually experienced the thrill of traveling. It was then that I began to envision creating a one-stop self-help corner for peopl

Ten Essentials for Autumn Travel to Spain

TEN ESSENTIALS FOR AUTUMN TRAVEL TO SPAIN By Lu Sobredo The warm weather hasn’t completely waned, but there are signs of the new season including a little chill in the early morning air. As of September 22, 2021, North America is officially into autumn and I am thrilled! A year and half of waiting for COVID 19 infection cases to decline in the U.S. and other parts of the world has been challenging. But survived, I did! So did my circle of friends and family. I feel for those who did suffer much and lost loved ones or colleagues to the indiscriminatory virus. Diligent adherence to health protocols have helped and I wished many more would take the risks seriously by getting vaccinated, continuing to mask up and limit exposure by distancing or gathering responsibly in small crowds. I feel fortunate to qualify in the late summer for a third vaccine. Being someone diagnosed with an autoimmune illness renders me high risk to infection. On August 31, 2021 I walked into a pharmacy and took con

Finding Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum

by Lu Sobredo Viewing Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum. ©Lu Sobredo 2017 "Celebrate the rich diversity of Philippine art with 25 compelling works recently added to the Asian Art Museum’s collection. Expressive indigenous carving, jewelry and textiles; Christian devotional statues from the Spanish colonial period; postwar genre and landscape paintings; and contemporary works come together in this intimate exhibition to tell fascinating and complex stories of the Philippines.” ~ Asian Art Museum Introduction I’m surprised to be hanging out on a Thursday afternoon at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in the middle of summer. Most times, I am there either appreciating some permanent exhibit or being drawn to a special exhibit or event. Sometimes, I could be found simply sitting at the museum Cafe sipping green tea and lingering over an apple almond tart. It is at these moments when I am moved to write. The writing I do these days is for my blog.  

Through His Camera Lens: Lights, Landscapes and Life Abroad

by Lu Sobredo ~Celebrating the many dimensions of my husband James Sobredo: his interest, talent and heart as reflected through his camera lens. Introduction Yes, my son and I, and sometimes our friends take very good pictures with our mobile phones. But the person, whose camera lens I totally rely on to document life's moments and special places, is my husband James Sobredo. Being around him and his photography partner and close friend, Steven Montalvo when on their photography shoots, is both meditative and exhilarating to watch. As if their eyes are connected to their hearts. And after many hours and enormous patience, they might be happy with the outcome. I know I am. Folks have asked me why I find blogging so much fun? Other than the fact that: My family actually have visited the amazing places I write about. I get to meet fascinating people and who have become part of my family’s life.  As strange as this sounds, it’s even fun to awkwardly attempt speaking a d

Great Friends Make Great Medicine

GREAT FRIENDS MAKE GREAT MEDICINE By Lu Sobredo There is a new drug in my health journey: a daily dosage of friends. When added to my pharmaceutical regimen, it seems to magically expand the time between flare-ups. Closest Best Friend, My Beloved: Our 26th Wedding Anniversary at The Kitchen in Sacramento. ©James Sobredo The stores were about to close when I was struck with a yen to pick up bowtie pasta at the Italian Deli in my neighborhood. It’s not every day that I make an impromptu dash to the store. Once there, it’s never just bowtie pasta that finds its way into the shopping cart. Just ask my young, adult son who drove me there. It wasn’t going to be a quick trip after all. I ran into my primary care doctor and his lovely wife at the grocery store. She has a PhD and rightfully has the title of Dr., I thought to myself. My M.D. asked about my recent visit with my neurosurgeon. Aside from a chronic illness, I also had a mass in my r

Walking the Camino de Santiago: Pilgrimage on My Terms (Parts 1 & 2)

By Lu Sobredo PART I Introduction Walking near the border of France and Spain through the Spanish Pyrenees to the city of Santiago de Compostela was not the vacation I envisaged, not for my first trip to Spain in 2010. However, my husband James, the avid adventurer had other ideas born out of an earlier visit to Madrid and Seville in 2006. It was a decision that turned out to be monumental for the family and deeply personal for me. Mother and Son Bonding on the Camino. ©James Sobredo This essay is sprinkled with practical hints from lessons learned in the pilgrimage. It is a personal reflection of the whole experience. It is about the physically challenging, emotionally invigorating, and spiritually uplifting journey. It was an experience made increasingly significant because of a life-changing diagnosis that followed three years later, a diagnosis that has rendered me chronically disabled. I sincerely hope this serves as an important reminder to all: act no

Top 10 Restaurants We Love in Spain

By Lu Sobredo Gastronomy and Spain have become synonymous. Writing this photo essay makes me think of scrumptious meals. My mouth is literally watering with great longing to return.   Since starting my blog in 2016, my husband and I are often asked for recommendation of places to eat when in Spain. I have given recommendations in a private message through my travel Facebook Page: Lutravelsabroad . And I do it happily. But there is no reason to keep our recommendations private. When one finds a gold mine, I believe it is important to share the wealth. My family and I have managed to partake in culinary feasts on a budget when traveling. When we do some modest splurging, it is all planned and calculated into our travel expense. Why not live a little while we still can? If curious, you can still access my first Blog post on the subject: Happy Eating on a Budget in Spain . This earlier essay takes you from the Madrid area and Barcelona, to the Galician region in Santiago de