The first picture is of the small lake at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. On one side there is nothing but trees, and the minute you walk in you feel as if you've entered a tropical forest. The temperature drops a little because it is completely shaded and the outside sounds disappear. You feel as if you've stepped into anothe place and time. All you hear are the occasional chirp of the birds, a squawk of a goose or the cry of a peacock. It's easy to imagine you're in a jungle, machete in hand to chop away at the lush vegetation only you don't need it here because there is a clear path to walk through.
It's quiet, and at the edge of this mini tropical forest is this lake. I'm not actually admiring the lake because on this side of the lake it actually looks really dirty. The dirt beneath my feet is wet but I love the serenity and how quiet it is. I take a couple of pics.
I turn and start to continue on my path and just happen to look down and I see this bird just sitting on the edge of the lake, the lower portion of its body out of view. I snap the picture.
It turns to look at me trying to figure out if I'm going to come closer in which case it will have to move. You know how birds don't like us to get too close. It watched me and I watched it. I think it realized it didn't have to worry about me and let me continue to take pictures.
When I'm done I smile and say, "Thank you Mr. Bird". I looked it up. I think it's a Black Crowned Night Heron. If I've got it wrong feel free to correct me. I'm still learning. :-)