I originally named this portrait "Standing Room Only." I'd never seen a Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) creep chest-high into a pool -- then just stand there forever like a Japanese snow monkey.
The color white represents catharsis in alchemy. It's the point at which a blackened substance, through heat and reactivity, develops a white crust and then puffs into a cloud inside the alchemist's flask. It's the stage at which future possibilities become apparent as a material is transformed from one to the other. And it's symbolized by a white swan or white eagle.
As an adjunct to the Clapper Rail story, Bird Note asked if I would revisit my observations of a Clapper Rail tagging operation at Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland — a study I photographed in 2009. The marsh was close to our home in the Bay Area, and a quick hop from Oakland Airport. The proximity gave me a ready excuse to stop by with my camera whenever I shuttled Hugh to his flights.