Walking. With Memoir (or Musings) of a Madman.

4:05 a.m. I step up to find that my digital scale is still on the fritz. First a lost wifi-connection, which I fiddled with for 30 minutes yesterday.  And now, it just flashes and stares at me. I step off and on again, but it will not read out my weight. Now if that’s not telling you Something...I stand on it, staring down at it, a few body movements away from heaving it out the 2nd floor window. I step off, stare at it again, and leave it alone (for now). I’m not done with you yet.

Here we go (again.) 799 (!) consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk to Cove Island Park.  Like in a row.

Humid. Breezy. 72° F. Low tide. 25% cloud cover. Few humans. Magnifico.

I walk.

And, there she is. A Black-Crowned Night Heron. For some reason, I’ve being seeing these birds everywhere. Like they are plants by Someone or Something extraterrestrial trying to send me a message. Look at her dummy.  Pause. Wait. Stand. Look. Watch. Contemplate. What’s the rush?

She’s certainly not my spirit bird, the cormorant.  But the anti-me. So patient. So stoic. So calm. Standing there in water up to her ankles waiting for breakfast.

So, I do. I stare at her.  But, there’s something else gnawing at me. It’s that super thin, long white plume growing from the back of her head.

And the question is why?

Who decided it needed to be white? And not blue, orange or black.

Why super-thin and not a feather?

Who decided there needed to be a plume at all?

And, of the billion things to look at this morning, why are you locked in on this plume?

Flaubert continues in Memoirs of a Madman and November (1901), and he didn’t have Google or the internet:

Madness is the doubt of reason.
Perhaps it ‘is’ reason.
Who can prove it one way or the other?


  • Photos from Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park this morning, @ 4:52 am. to 5:45 am. July 13, 2022, 72° F.  More photos from this morning here.
  • Post title inspired by: “But for the man who watches the leaves trembling in the wind’s breath, the rivers meandering through the meadows, life twisting and turning and swirling through things, men living, doing good and evil, the sea rolling its waves and the sky with its expanse of lights, and who asks himself why these leaves are there, why the water flows, why life itself is such a terrible torrent plunging towards the boundless ocean of death in which it will lose itself, why men walk about, labor like ants, why the tempest, why the sky so pure and the earth so foul – these questions lead to a darkness from which there is no way out.” Gustave Flaubert, Memoirs of a Madman and November (Hesperus Classics, 2003)


  1. I must read that work… very catchy title, for sure. Who decided, DK? I think I might know 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great photos:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So funny, pal. I looked at these photos and before I even got to the text I was fixated on that thin white plume…what the hell *is* that…a reflection, an optical illusion? Couldn’t even take in the bigger image. Scoot over…I’ll sit and fixate with ya for a bit…. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Two things: First, I thought 799 was the weight on the scale. LOL. Then I caught myself before I doubted reason. Of course it’s not the weight, it’s the number of days walking. Whew! Second, the little white feather is the heron’s antenna, of course. At night (he IS a night heron) when he’s walking around in that muck, he can’t see where he’s going, so his white antenna circles around like a radar. Or not….😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think he’s just styling and hanging out looking to attract the ladies. as for your scale,,,, toss it and get a less tech-y one that will speak the plain truth, good or bad. it will never fail you.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    You always amaze me … “Photos from Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park this morning, @ 4:52 am. to 5:45 am. July 13, 2022, 72° F.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely photos! Well, I think those same questions can also lead to a lightness from which there is no way out! As for bathroom scales, be radical — throw it out and never replace it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great photos show the remnant of a grand and exuberant white crest that herons had in the time of dinosaurs. It was a defense mechanism against the reptilian predators that were abundant at that time. They also had webbed and clawed feet that became too uncomftable to wear in the straps stilleto sandals that were also the rage at that time.
    You are not mad.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m with Beth – chuck it and get a good ole-fashioned one… or not.
    Memoirs of a Madman sounds like it should be added to my pile?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You ask about the plume on the birds head. And I ask why you keep counting your walks or weight? ha 🧐

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Can’t beat all the fantastic comments from your squad…I can say that the white plumes are secondary sex characteristics (and if the plumes fall off or are lost in a tussle, it can be reason for an avian divorce)…and these birds are known (according to the Audubon Society) as the ‘masters of motionless’ – they can sleep in the daylight sun and/or use their mannequin-like stance as a way to quickly grab a fish. And that’s all I’ve got.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. You are proof that it’s to fend off predators…I mean, look what happened, you were so puzzled by that long stringy plume that all you could do is stop and stare. It gives this bird plenty of time to just fly off, thinking once again that he is the master of his universe. On the other hand, maybe they use it as a whip…and I’m thinking of Devo’s song here “Whip It.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I truly thought you had a fibre of some kind on your lens….. yes sir! My smartphone wd then remind me that ‘you get better photos with a clean lens’, honest to God.
    What a deep train of thoughts searched its way through your brain on that walk. The stuff of future memories 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

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