It started at sunrise. Nesting season at the rookery slowly ramped up to a grand opera. First the Ibis left in a white wave; they were only visiting for the night. Then the full-time residents woke up, each on their own schedule. But they only left for a short trip, maybe to Nest Depot for another branch, or more food for the ever-hungry chicks.

I watched busy birds everywhere. Courting, working on their nest, caring for chicks, and vigorously defending their small patch of home-sweet-home. Everyone except one Great Egret. She was quietly displaying her plumage, and flashing a come-hither smile. But something set her apart from the others; she was regal.

She was a princess waiting for her prince.