Heron vs Koi?

Heron. Moraine State Park, Butler County, Pennsylvania. September or October, 2021. Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek

Iorld’s most observant person. Still, I remember the first time that I saw a heron “in the wild” here in Western Pennsylvania. I was an adult. We were driving on a highway that spooned a creek. I yelled, “Hey, there’s a heron standing in the creek!”

Heron. Moraine State Park, Butler County, Pennsylvania. September or October, 2021. Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek

Now, in the warm months, I see at least one heron fly directly over my backyard in Parnassus. Same time each evening. Perhaps my yard sits under the flight path between Pucketa (Puckety) Creek and the Allegheny River? What do you think?

So, anyway, my employer held an Earth Day photography contest on its intranet. Prizes are bragging rights only.

I entered one of these for the contest. I posted a heron photo. I wrote in the caption that to me, the heron is a symbol of the air and water clean-up efforts here in Western PA.

Within hours of my posting about my heron excitement, this one employee (who I don’t know) from another office (on the East Coast of the US) left a comment on my post. The comment went something like this:

I used to have a Koi pond my backyard. The pond had about 20 fish that were all worth a great deal of money. One day, I came home and all of the Koi were gone. My neighbor showed me a photo of a blue heron sitting on my roof looking down at the empty pond. So, I blame the heron for eating all of my expensive fish. I had to close my Koi pond.

(She capitalized the word “koi.”)

I have family friends who lost their own koi to raccoons. I’m sorry to hear this.

Heron. Moraine State Park, Butler County, Pennsylvania. September or October, 2021.
This one’s blurry. Oh well. You try asking a heron to stay put so that you can get a photo.
Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek

Heron are native to our part of North America. Koi are not native to North America.

Heron. Drummond Island. Lake Huron. Northern Michigan. August 25, 2021. Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek

In honor of heron just doing their best to survive in their natural habitat on this Earth, here are a bunch of heron photos that I took.

Heron. Moraine State Park, Butler County, Pennsylvania. October, 2020. Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek

3 thoughts on “Heron vs Koi?”

  1. Hi Jenny,
    I like your pictures! Also did Brendan tell you about the story when we went kayaking on the Juniata River in Huntington on my birthday in 2013 and we saw like 50 herons and I thought for sure they were plotting to attack us and I kind of freaked out? They are so big, but seriously though, I am glad that the CWA and the CCA helped them come back. Happy Earth Day! Great post.

  2. I’m with you, Jenny. Herons are so impressive to view in the wild. I don’t remember seeing them as a child, and it is a hopeful sign that they are so plentiful these days. Having these beautiful native birds make a comeback is worth the trade-off of not being able to have koi.

    Also, Katie Nicholson’s comment made me laugh.

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