A sure sign that winter is over, and that the threat of frost is on the way out, is that Lily has morning work to do.



Great Blue Herons are returning from their winter feeding grounds. They are looking for ponds, abundant with fish to eat, and wetlands with tall trees to nest in. My yard has the fish.



Lily can’t be outside every minute, and the herons are persistent. We’ve lost some fish to herons, but The Beast has survived a dozen years. She’s wily and wary. She knows what the shadow of a heron looks like. She doesn’t let her guard down when a new “twig” appears in the water. The Beast is now too big for a heron to eat, but a heron will stab a large fish with her beak, mortally wounding the prey – The Beast has to remain on guard.

The center of the Beast’s pond is three feet deep, and the rock provides a cave for her to hide in.

koi pond


The Beast could probably take care of herself, but I think that she appreciates that Lily doesn’t let the herons stay around.

heron on roof


This will be a sight repeated all summer.

heron flying off


The Beast  thanks you, Lily.

The Beast


  1. Go Lily! My new puppy (Border Collie) hasn’t grasped ‘look up’ yet. He should take lessons from Lily!

    This Saturday we were bringing my son home from college and a Great Blue Heron flew right across the highway in front of us. I was thrilled. With fish to protect, I know you were probably less than thrilled. But I don’t have any outside fish so I was able to enjoy the sight! It also reassured me to a certain extent. Just 2 days before, I spotted a couple of Juncos still in my yard and those little suckers should have been long gone by now. Time to put out the Hummingbird feeders!

    • That’s great that you have a BC. I was just reading about how they have evolved over hundreds of years to be more in tune to learning language than other breeds. That’s why dogs like Chaser can identify so many words. Have fun!

  2. Good girl LIly. That’s a great shot of her standing on point.

    A friend of mine that lives in St Louis proper had to cover his pond with netting as the herons were cleaning him out.
    Its odd that he lives further from the Mississippi River than I do from the Missouri River (I’m only 2 miles as the heron flies) and I’ve never had a problem with them, knock on wood.

  3. Good dog Lily! Like I said on your “guess the breed” blog, I think Lily is mostly English Pointer. Anyway, she should be given a treat for her work.

  4. Lily is doing her job well. My son lost many large Koi over 2′ long to Herons and an Otter, they look great to watch in a river but can devastate a pond and they leave the head and bone skeleton behind. Been watching your weather it has been wonderful, hope you’ve been able to get on with the garden. Our weather has turned wet and very cold again , I think my seeds will rot in the ground !!

  5. Your place is so pretty. I don’t do social media, therefor this request the only way I know to reach you. Perhaps re-position the goatcam so that I don’t spend my time staring at the red bucket…formerly the blue bucket.?
    My grandchildren enjoy all the cams. Thank you for making our barnyard study so pleasant.

    • The GoatCam should swivel. Sometimes they are sleeping near the bucket, and then it’s interesting :)

  6. We get by with a little help from our friends. The heron on the gable is quite a sight.

  7. How were the Lily pad plants and other water plant roots doing ? I hope they will be able to grow large enough to cover the Beast so she won’t get sunburned again. I do wonder if having the large umbrella out discourages the herons as well or probably not knowing them they use it for shade like humans.

    • The waterlilies should have survived just fine, but they don’t start blooming until June. I’m sure that the Beast will need an umbrella from now on.