Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash

No matter what happens sometimes in the wild of the wilds, Papa God knows how to give good gifts…and memorable memories… often with a little twinkle in his eye

Nature Nugget

By Charles Towne   

After spending a lifetime on the lakes and rivers of this grand country of ours, and rubbing shoulders with all sort of varmints, critters, and denizens, I must say that I really like great blue herons. They are stately and beautiful birds, almost regal in their bearing as they wade along searching for whatever luckless fish, crawdad, creepy crawly, hop frog, snake or other tasty tit bit that might attract their scrutiny.

When the fledglings are little, and unable to fly, the adult herons, being devoted and diligent parents, spend much of their time eating fish and whatever else might attract their attention. This mixture lies in the gullet of the parent bird, rotting and digesting into a delicious soup for the sweet little babies to slurp down. Mmmmm, good!

I had been hired by the state of Michigan to destroy several beaver dams that were causing flooding that had inundated portions of back country roads, and when I say destroy beaver dams, I mean DESTROY, like with dynamite, as in KABOOM! No more beaver dam! Boy, that was fun, and it didn’t hurt the beaver; just gave them cause to rebuild their dam. I guess you could say I was just offering them job security!

The subsequent flooding had caused a considerable lake to form back on the state land and the great blue herons had formed a rookery in the tops of the dead trees. And it wasn’t just any old rookery, no; it was a rookery to put all rookeries to shame! Over two hundred great blue heron nests and not one of those nests had less than two baby blue herons in it! You do the math.

Well, understanding that I really like blue herons, and also understanding that all babies are cute, I got this brilliant idea to go out there in my canoe, and photograph those adorable, sweet, little baby birds.

There I was, out on that lake surrounded by cute baby blue herons, when I suddenly noticed that all of those adorable baby birds, every one of them, were staring down at me with a rare and most unique hostility, and great malevolence in their evil little eyes. And then, as if on cue, they all evacuated their cute little bowels on me, and not a few of them regurgitated on me at the same time. Have you ever smelled the decisively putrid and disgusting odor of rotting fish that had been laying in repose in an advanced state of decomposition in the stomachs of a hoard of baby blue herons before?

Did I say that I don’t like great blue herons? Nasty, disgusting beasts they are, and endowed with an evil sense of humor.

As  I swiftly and gagglingly paddled my canoe away from that rookery, I was certain that I heard angelic laughter wafting through the air; but then, just perhaps, what I heard was the sinister cackling laughter of all those foul fowls.

Papa God is not like that! He knows how to give good gifts, and I will say amen to that!

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.



  1. Talk about a memorable memory…lol!! I am still laughing. thank you my dear friend for starting my day off with a chuckle. Happy New Year!

  2. Almost every week I learn a new word when reading your story – this week was no exception as I now know what a denizen is… Obviously many of your adventures took place before the advent of smart phones with cameras and your ability to vividly tell a story plays an imaginary video in the readers mind far superior to any smart phone could. Thanks for once again for enriching my Sunday morning…

    • Mike me old pal, perhaps I should start a word of the week section, what? To me one of the saddest things of our age is the deprivation of imagination in the young. We are all born with a magical gift of a canvas and pallet in our minds upon which we can create extraordinary art. What has happened to deprive us of this wonder, this miracle that at one time gave us phenomenal art such as the Pieta, the Taj Mahal, etc. Certainly this is not progress? Chaz

    • Hey Mike! Happy New Year and just to clarify, many of Chucks adventures took place when the mouthpiece and earpiece were two separate parts of the phone! He used to dial numbers like Hillside 267!!!

      • Good morning Richard and Happy New Year to you also. While Chuck may have a few years on me I still remember having a phone without a dial and our number was 941. My dad worked for Bell Tel and the old “manual office” staffed by operators was over Creasy’s bar in Honesdale Pa. Sometime in the 50s we finally got dial service but don’t remember us having a candlestick phone like Chuck. Isn’t it grand to have been around long enough to have experienced such technological change…

  3. Dear NH, Looking back through the imperfect lens of memory, laughter was not so easy to come by at the time but it certainly brings a chuckle today! Chaz

  4. What a good Sunday morning, throw-your-head-back-laughing kind of story! I bet those little birds were so cute…until, that is, when they decided to cut loose on you!! Sorry, not trying to enjoy your misfortune, but it WAS hilarious to say the least! Now that I have started my day with plenty endorphins, I will have a wonderful day with a smile on my face. I’m sure there will be many chuckles, as well. Thanks for the delightful story. God bless you!

    • CSG, Cut loose, YOU SAY! I am sure that if you folks had witnessed the disgusting occasion you would all have been laughing, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU SAW ME SPLASHING AROUND IN THE LAKE TRYING TO GET RID OF THE AWFUL OFFAL! Chaz

  5. Happy New Year my friend! Great article, hope it’s not an omen for the new year but as to the laughter I see no reason it couldn’t have been both! The angels celebrated a proper response to an intrusion and the birds celebrating the excellence of their marksmanship!

  6. You said, “perhaps I should start a word of the week section”. I agree with you. Allow me to suggest that you add “rookery”. The story presents a reason to empathize and yes, I’m sure there was celestial laughter. Thanks for the chuckle Chuck…

  7. EdG, trusting to Mr. Noah Webster’s efforts in his attempt to expand and expound in the field of bibliophilliac profundity I must refer to his erudite and informal definition of the referred too word, ROOKERY: A crowded and run down tenement. The aforementioned definition aptly describes the rookery with its myriad nests positioned one above the other enabling the vulgar beasties to void on the less fortunate residents beneath them. Sorry for the sad picture, Chaz

    • Hey Chas! This new year is starting off GREAT!. I have not had to write this much all last year! In your reply to EdG, did you mean “the etymological profundity instead of bibliophilliac?” The former refers to words and their meanings, the second, to books? Just curious! Feliz Ano Novo para ti, amigo!

  8. My Little Bro Charlitos !!! Such amazing story plenty of coloured, glorious and magnificent posture of herons !!!
    As always, You give Us amazing recitals of Narure and GOD … Wish One of the Best Years for YOU !!! GOD Blessed already You, My Inspiration Guy …

  9. Leonardo De LaRosa Cano, my brother, I can only imagine the wonders of nature in the jungles of your Venusuela! Wow!

  10. Hello my Dear Charles! I really liked his story and it made me laugh.
    The reactions of animals are unpredictable and spontaneous, like that children. Thank you for sharing beautiful stories.
    Blessings to you.

  11. Magaly, my dear friend, so nice getting your comment. I love bringing laughter to my friends. May God bless you and yours. Charles

  12. We have, on our 12 acres & large pond, one Blue Heron that comes back every year. I’ve never seen it build a nest, but supposed it has one somewhere. Oh, BTW just a thought…..maybe the birds that showered you with their food, was thinking you looked hungry and out of love wanted to share the best they had!

    • Don Young, the only problem with your theory is the thought of eating bird caca is one I believe I will pass on! Chaz

  13. What a hilarious story . Sorry for the clean up time you most likely had to do. Perhaps mommy and papa heron instructed their chicks to splash all humans in boats. It reminded my wife of when a flock of birds evacuated on her and our daughter while lounging at a pool. Not a pleasant experience. Could those tiny dear creatures possibly have a since of humor or a since of sinister??? Jimmie and Mignon

  14. Jimmie and Mignon, there is a problem with your theory, size! Great blue herons are large enough for me to be thankful that elephants don’t fly. Sense of sinister, definitely a sense of sinister. Chaz

  15. What goes in must come out. John had a similar experience when a seagull intentionally targeted him. Another time, while sipping a cup of coffee underneath a birch tree, he was alert enough to notice a sudden splat in his mug. Yes, you guessed it. He was glad the cup was in his hand causing him to become aware of what happened. Imagine taking your last gulp of coffee and . . . .

  16. Dear Judith the numbers person, and John the nutritionist, Perhaps John, just perhaps dear sir, you would be so kind as to inform us of the food group that bird caca falls under? Thank you for enlightening us, Chaz


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