At one of the ten falls, up a side path through leafy shade where ferns and moss and piggyback plants abound, we came upon a great blue heron standing at the pool, statue-still. Noticing us, it turned its head, and seemed somehow to become an even taller, leaner bird, as if it had pulled its feathers more tightly around itself. Sorry for our intrusion, and hoping not to frighten it, we did not move, and were about to back away, but it was too late. The bird took flight, nearly stopping several times in mid air as it maneuvered through the canopy and out to the open area over the stream below.
After three hours of dense, dark sleep brought on by walking over seven miles on a rocky path, I woke up to the sound of a cricket singing in the big rhododendron by the front door. The next time I awoke, it was to a cricket symphony beneath the clear night sky and bright full moon. The lamp was lit, the usher led me down.
August 15, 2019