Skip to content

A Portrait in Patience

A Great Egret patiently stalks its meal among South Florida’s protected wetlands, with the purple stalks of the aquatic plant, pickerelweed, reflecting on the water’s surface. Both egret parents feed the chicks during the nesting period, which remains in high swing. Fortunately, they don’t have to travel far to forage for food, as there’s an abundant supply in this wonderful preserve; and within a few miles of these wetlands lies the Everglades. Observing the egret’s focus, intent, and diligence is a true lesson in patience — but a few humans have had poetic insights into this state of steadfastness:

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. -(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy. -(Saadi)
Patience is the greatest of all virtues. -(Cato the Elder)
Patience is the companion of wisdom.
-(Saint Augustine)

Endurance is patience concentrated. -(Thomas Carlyle)
He that can have patience can have what he will.
-(Benjamin Franklin)
Our patience will achieve more than our force.
-(Edmund Burke)
Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains.
-(William Penn)
Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.
-(Thomas Huxley
Why is patience so important? Because it makes us pay attention. (Paulo Coelho)

A Great Egret Patiently Stalks Its Meal in the Florida Wetland
22 Comments Post a comment
  1. A lovely picture and yes, the epitome of patience! Thanks for all the quotes, too. Very good food for thought.

    May 30, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I agree… Such wonderful literary reminders to slooooow down sometimes, in this hurried world. Seeing these guys is always such a good reminder, too.

      May 30, 2012
  2. “Now his golden eye glances over the surrounding objects, in surveying which he takes advantage of the full stretch of his graceful neck….and patiently awaits the approach of his finned prey. You might imagine what you see to be a statue of a bird, so motionless is it. But now, he moves; he has taken a silent step, and with great care he advances….and
    now, what a sudden start! His formidable bill has transfixed a perch….

    Excerpt from Audubon’s description of a Great Blue Heron patiently poised to catch fish!

    While spoken of the Great Blue Heron, this patience of the avian fisherman is true of the herons and egrets in general. The stillness is so profound! But, then again the fisherman who uses rod, reel and hook must be patient too!!

    A lovely study of the White Egret with the silky reflections of the purple spires of pickerel weed in the background. I don’t feel very patient about getting back out to the wetlands! I need plenty of work on this attribute.

    May 30, 2012
    • WOW! That Audubon excerpt is just beautiful… Sublimely written!! I especially love the comparison to the “statue of a bird” — when we’re seeing them in the wetlands/swamps, that’s exactly the feeling. He really had a keen eye, a heartfelt intuition with the natural world, and a beaming intelligence to express it. Thanks so much for sharing that piece.

      It’s been more than a week since I’ve been able to visit ANY of the surrounding natural areas… Maybe nearly 2 weeks? And I’m jumping out of my skin. I’ve made it my mission to go out today, regardless — before the storms, and after my work. I MUST! 🙂 PS — I love how you saw the purple of the pickerel weed in the water’s reflection; that was one of my favorite bits of the image.

      May 30, 2012
  3. Lovely, thank you.

    May 30, 2012
  4. This is beautiful work! The writing, the ideas, the photo, you can almost feel the soft smooth white feathers, the clear cool water, smell the purple blossoms, really great stuff! Thank you dear girl! I feel more peaceful already!

    May 30, 2012
    • Aw, you’re so kind — MANY thanks for such lovely and inspiring words! These egrets are so easy and fun to photograph, but I always worry about breaking their concentration…

      May 30, 2012
  5. marialla #

    Gorgeous picture – as usual but the quotes on patience are just pages torn from the book of wisdom!!! Thank you.!!!

    May 30, 2012
    • Thanks so much! They’re fantastic reminders, especially in our crazy world. And just watching these birds is a wonderful reminder in itself, really.

      May 30, 2012
  6. look who teaches us a great lesson 🙂 wonderful shot. love it.

    May 30, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I find I run to nature, consciously and unconsciously, to soak in these lessons. Whether it’s to simply decompress or actively photograph, there’s something learn… Always! ♥

      May 31, 2012
  7. Love your photo – great reflection!

    May 30, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I was lucky to be there with the falling light and backdrop of purple pickerelweed… And of course, the lovely and diligent egret. 🙂

      May 31, 2012
  8. Val #

    What a beautiful photograph! Lovely. 🙂

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I’m lucky to have easy access to these amazing creatures, and our beautiful wetlands… It’s hard to take a bad image. 🙂

      May 31, 2012
  9. Matariki #

    That photo is brilliant!
    I have shared this post and photo on my blog … hope you do not mind. It is so great I felt that I wanted to shout it from the roof tops.

    May 31, 2012
    • Absolutely not — you’re so kind! ♥ I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to watch these embodiments of grace and patience at a moment’s notice. So happy to share!!

      May 31, 2012
  10. What an amazing photo! Absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing!

    June 1, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I’m very lucky to have these amazing animals, and unique environment so close…. Very calming, always peaceful. ♥

      June 1, 2012
  11. Gorgeous. I just hope he doesn’t think that he’s his own lunch snack. lol

    June 15, 2012
  12. narhvalur #

    Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors.

    August 6, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: