Walking. With Ennui.

5:25 a.m. Here we go again. 849 consecutive (almost) days on my Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

I gather my camera gear, sleep walking through the ritual now. Insomnia rages, 6 days running. No, I haven’t taken your suggested witches’ potions — that is, banana before bed, tonic water, melatonin, magnesium, and all that other voodoo shit that I can’t seem to even try. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same shit over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, here we are. On the 5:30 am Insanity Bus to Cove Island Park.

I get out of the car. I reposition the pack on my back, then the camera, all of it, heavy, unsettled, unsettling.

I walk.

I’m woozy, stewing in a brew of vertigo and fatigue. Brew…Brew…feelings brewing. I’m at the opening of Maddie Mortimer’s Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies: “Feeling brews itself in different locations, depending on the body. A man’s most honest impulses may begin in his hands or his heart, his toes, throat, fingers or thighs. Lia felt most things first in her stomach.” There’s nothing spectacular going on in this body right now. Spent immediately comes to mind. I slow my pace to get a grip.

I walk.

Mortimer goes on to use the word “ennui“, a Lori-word. I had to look it up…a feeling of utter weariness and discontent…world-weary sensation…soul-destroying fiend.”

I walk.

Adding to the ennui is an “off day” for photo taking. We’ve got the 3 impeding elements: (1) No cloud cover of any type. (2) High tide and (3) Humans. With sun rising later, the tourists are out. In force.

I walk.

I turn off the shoreline, finding nothing enlightening, and move to the walk path.

Man, tourist, adult, not a regular at Cheers here on the Daybreak walks, approaches. He’s shouting into the speaker of his smartphone. He’s FaceTiming. The participant on the other side of the call shouts back. And the back and forth continues, shattering the silence of daybreak.

I move left on the path directly in his lane, thinking this may jog him in lifting the receiver to his ear, or better yet, ending the call. No such thing happens. He shifts to the other side of the path to avoid me. I glare at him, he smiles back and continues his conversation. Idiot, oblivious to the world around him.

My irritation bleeds off, and I walk.

I locate a family of herons. Adult male and female (like I know the difference…sounds impressive though) and their little ones. They’re clustered near the breakwall, near the rocks, near the sea grass, all patiently waiting for their breakfast to saunter by…then stab at it with that saber beak and swallow it whole.

I stand. I wait for the right moment.

And the moment arrives. Idiot has made the full loop, and approaches me on the break wall.

“The sunrise is late today.

The sunrise is late today? Now, I know some of you are thinking, I’m no Solar Physicist, but even I get this — not the how of how it happens, but that it happens. (Sawsan, mind your mouth.) But I’m Canadian and DNA just won’t allow me to open up.

“Yes, it rises at 6:20 a.m.”

“Oh, 6:30 a.m.?”

Is it possible that I’m mumbling?


Is this some Youtube or TikTok prank? Has to be.

The Man walks along the breakwall and away from me.

I turn away from him, and turn back to the Herons, and wait.

Then, said Idiot-Man reaches the end of the Breakwall. He turns back to walk along the shoreline directly into the path of the Herons.

No. There’s no chance. There’s no reason he would walk 100 feet of shoreline before it ends, when there is a 1/4 mile of walkable shoreline in the other direction. No reason to do that. He has to see me on the breakwall with my camera.

He does it.

I place the camera and backpack down on the breakwall to watch.

The Herons turn their attention to Idiot.

Idiot keeps walking, he spooks them, they’re gone. He turns to walk the other way.

Anthony Isola’s 41 Quick Tips for Health, Happiness, and Wealth: #20 – “Try to go for a daily 45-minute nature walk. Make sure you wave or say hi to strangers along the way.”
(Note to Tony: And take the tripod out of your backpack and beat some of them with it.)


DK Photo: Great Blue Heron @ Daybreak. 6:15 am. 67° F. Sept 1, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT . More photos from this morning here.


  1. Those humans 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David, you need a massage!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe the man was deaf. But yes, why come out to a beautiful quiet spot to shout into your stupid phone? They do it here all the time.


  4. I feel Ennui today actually it’s lingering. Next time bring a bull horn and send him warning signals.


  5. Husband used to stand on a cat’s tail and look around to see where all the noise was coming from. And here’s the thing: He still would! Folks’ awareness just isn’t equally sharp. So, you need a neon yellow vest with “SHORE PATROL” printed on it. 😉👍 And to forgive yourself the shoulds of insomnia; it is what it is, but you’re still you, and it’s fine to be an introvert. It may simply be hard on you until the nap.🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry Dave…ennui with a dose of irritation – a lousy combination for sure. But the heron? Perfect – and that’s a lot on a crappy morning

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Maybe your ennui is multi-faceted.
    Maybe after 849 consecutive days (like in a row) you need to find a new place to discover.
    Maybe having that ignoramus who surely does not appreciate nature the way you do, didn’t help. Gah, I hate those who use speaker phone so that all and sundry hear the conversation you are so NOT interested in.
    Maybe you should try one of the witches’ potions….
    Maybe it was simply one of those days 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bulletholes says:

    My nephew Davy used to tell me about the time he was a delivery driver assistant. He worked with a fellow who had not been in our country for long. He spoke broken English. Out on a delivery one day they got lost. Lost and turned around. They made a few city blocks, and the immigrant driver was getting a little discombobulated.
    “We need to be going east” Davy said.
    “Ve are goink eazzt now” the driver said.
    “No, we are going west. See? The sun is setting”.
    The immigrant driver, very frustrated, replied.
    “You…cannot …trust …the …sun”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. no need to impress me the with the alleged male/female distinction; I’m impressed that you knew the birds were herons!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s frustrating how much space some people take in the world, how much oxygen they suck from the room. A motivational speaker I once listened to referred to them as “unconscious people”. He suggested we swallow them like marbles, (metaphorically speaking?), rather than waste precious energy trying to change them.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Would you believe I wrote this soon after you posted your blog this morning but forgot to press send? I’m glad it was worth the wait. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You were just like the adult heron , keeping your eyes on your prey and just waiting to stab him.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Life so complicated, even in a walking too… Humans! ah (we) humans…. I don’t walk anymore… I locked myself to my home. Outside is not what I had before… Makes me afraid walking outside alone… especially with Mr. Sixty! In this crazy economical problems in my country. Everything goes down… and yes, sleeping is my other problem too. Nothing helps me… I can’t stop my brain… thoughts and thoughts… and I don’t want to use any pill for this (at least for now…) This is not my world… I can’t recognize it.
    Thank you dear David, I haven’t known that you take a bus to the park for walking… It should be worthy, I think, because you always bring us beautiful moments of these times… But in words too… Have a nice day and weekend, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ahhh, pal, delighted that you are embracing some of the words that I love. Isn’t it lovely to find just the right one to characterize one’s feelings? Like umami for the brain. 😉 And gabby guy? Feel pity for him…sleepwalking through his environment, while you, you suck the marrow out of the morning’s offerings, insomnia and all.💪

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ennui indeed. I would have ennuied him too. It makes the photo even better 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  16. At first, I didn’t understand…that gorgeous, elegant heron, and ENNUI in the title–didn’t fit! So, through the mind numbing and lung exhaustion from insomnia, you found your sense of humor, I think thanks to your guide, the heron, who remained poised. (This particular witch’s brew is to turn my mind over to higher wisdom as I’m ready to fall asleep. The key may be surrendering the whole MIND.)


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