My brother-in-law, Robert, lives to fish and has a keen interest in stocks. After being around him for a few years, it is hard for me to discern which brings him greater joy; reeling in a big catch on the water or one in the stock market. Whether on the bank, wading in the water, or on a boat, Robert is a study in patience and economy of motion. If he comes home empty handed, it has still been a good day fishing.
While at the Bosque del Apache last November with friends Geraint and Pam Smith, we spotted this blue heron that Geraint nicknamed Hank. I don't know if Hank plays the stock market, but he shares a number of fishing attributes with Robert: patience, stillness, persistence, and economy of motion. While Robert lives to fish, Hank fishes to live. He doesn't have the option of going to a restaurant if he doesn't catch anything. Maybe that's why he's so good.
I've never heard Robert talk about catching anything that was too big to handle, but we did see Hank spear one that appeared to be on the upper limits of what his gullet could handle. He spent quite a bit of time repeatedly smacking it against the bank and using his bill to tenderize it. This too, was an exercise in patience and persistence that Hank had done many times before. Like a skilled chef, he sensed the precise moment the dish was ready and swallowed it whole.
As good as Robert is, I have to give Hank the edge when it comes to fishing. I always enjoy watching a skilled professional work.