In these virus-sensitive times I hasten to say that I’m not sneezing. I’m wondering whether I’m seeing an avian version of this Eastern massage therapy.

This ancient practice
—which involves a massage therapist literally walking on your back—
has been performed by Buddhist monks for centuries
and is now available in various forms across America.
Massage Therapy

Ashiatsu certainly seems to be available at this rookery in St. Augustine.

Great egrets, mating

Ha ha ha, eh? Isabel, don’t be silly.

Getting photographs of birds mating requires luck and quick reflexes: They often hide in the weeds (er, branches), and they’re speed demons. So when I got decent shots of these particularly spectacular birds, I was almost pleased enough to overlook that I didn’t get the exposure quite right: The white lacks details in many places. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that while I couldn’t overlook it, I was still pleased.

I also continue to be amazed at how beautiful these birds are. In the photo below, note, too, that the little missus is standing on one leg. Clearly she has no challenges with balance.

Great egrets mating

Even the dismounts and the after-action interaction can be spectacular.

Great egrets, mating

Great egrets, mating



      1. Tom Watson

        Son-in-law Derek used to have his daughter Kennedy walk on his back when she was younger. I haven’t seen it lately.

        Personally, I haven’t had that…but I think the crunches the chiropractor does are a heavy-duty substitute.

        1. Isabel Gibson

          Tom – Yeah, I’ve seen men let their toddlers walk on their stomachs. I haven’t tried that – maybe because my toddlers topped 30 pounds. Each.

  1. Marilyn Smith

    Beautiful photos! Such a gorgeous white! I noticed in the top photo that the male’s knees, so to speak, bend inward — are these birds double jointed perhaps? Also, it does seem that the female is holding her posture with both spindles in the second photo. But the last one is magnificent! Such motion! Such grace! Such joy! I would love to have one of those feathers!

  2. Pingback: A Different View – Traditional Iconoclast

  3. Pingback: Incoming! – Traditional Iconoclast

Comments are closed.