A great blue heron at the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City, Missouri.

After church one Sunday, Ruth and I ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant. While in the U.S. Army, I spent 13 months in South Korea. I tried, but I never mastered the art of eating with chopsticks.

As we ate, I noticed with envy a young couple a few tables away. They were exhibiting great dexterity while eating with chopsticks.

I was reminded of a photo I took last spring at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge (formerly Squaw Creek NWR) near Mound City, Missouri. It was of a great blue heron that had plucked a crawdad (more genteel folks call them crayfish) from the bottom of a shallow stream.

The great blue heron stands about 4 feet and is the largest heron in North America. Its graceful neck is S-shaped much of the time — until in a lightning-fast move, its head snaps downward and disappears beneath the water. That’s when the chopsticks are employed and the dagger-like bill snatches another crawdad or a succulent fish.

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