Friday, January 11, 2008

The Heron at the River

A glorious inch of rain fell yesterday and this morning the river was hurrying along as a white-water river should. I stopped on the bridge (lack of traffic is one of the delights of country life) to try for a picture of the Great Blue Heron who's almost always there.

Little Sylvie sees him in Signs in the Blood. "Standin in the water below me was a great tall gray bird with a long sharp beak. He was as stiff as if he was carved out of wood, just a-watchin the water at his feet. Then all to once he darted out that cruel beak and I seen a flash of silver as he brung up a fish and swallered it."
And in the same book, Elizabeth mentions taking a picture of the heron that haunts the river's shallows. (I hope her camera had a telephoto lens -- mine, obviously, does not.) I think I used the heron in another book but can't find any references just now and really need to get back to that proof reading. I do know that he's back in book four!

More and more I find that I'm trying, in these Marshall County books, to show certain continuities -- the persistence of memory, of families and place, even of good and evil. Maybe the heron will become a sort of leitmotif -- if that isn't too high-falutin' a concept for a paperback writer like me.

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