Story and photo by John D’Onofrio · Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Everything is covered in shit. Everything.
The ground, ferns, nettles, fallen logs and every leaf on every tree is coated with a patina of white heron droppings. Lance Ekhart, heron photographer extraordinaire, stands motionless in the forest—literally deep in the shit.
Here on Samish Island, Ekhart is documenting one of the greatest concentrations of herons anywhere on Earth; with a total of 373 nests (according to Skagit Land Trust counts) in this heronry, perhaps 1,000 birds.
Although we’re only a few hundred meters from the road, we have entered a different world. The herons jostle for position above us with much flapping of immense wings and crashing of branches. The air is filled with pterodactyl-like screeching—these primitive birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs. The ambiance is decidedly Jurassic. […]