This gorgeous inspiration is not a moth, and not even an insect. It's a heron that watched me watching it as I ate lunch sitting on the park bench. Over seventeen years I've seen many brides, families, and photographers saying "cheese" on the stone bridge over Hackberry Creek while I sat on the bench lunching and reading. Never have I seen a bird standing on the side of the bridge wearing such dramatic eye make-up and finery. After the heron flew down to the creek, I advanced slowly and took some photos with a long zoom.
I am only assuming the bird is a male because it has the same blond* comb-over as the lisping grad student who taught my college calculus class. The slendid yellow legs put Montagues and Capulets in mind, or maybe over-the-elbow yellow gloves. That would be quite something!
My coworker, an ornithologist, identified the bird as a "breeding adult yellow-crowned night-heron, a nocturnal bird". Why was it out and about at eleven-thirty a.m.? Why was it in the middle of Dallas? According to All About Birds, the yellow-crowned night-heron belongs in Southern swamps and coasts, or along wooded stream northward to Indiana and Illinois.
*As for blond comb-overs, in America the spelling "blond" is preferred over "blonde". In French, "blond" is masculine and "blonde" is feminine. In Britain, "blonde" is the more common spelling for either gender. Calling someone "a blonde" can be considered derogatory, but thanks to The Grammarist I'm sure that "blond" is the correct spelling to describe this math TA. His comb-over remains beyond description and a serious speed-bump in the study of higher mathematics at eight a.m. in the UN-L 501 Building.
|Prather Park photo borrowed from the Town of Highland Park website.|