Lately, this great blue heron has been a regular visitor to the empty field that borders our local veterinary clinic. He flies in from the Malibu lagoon, glorious and goofy. The ruffled arc of his outstretched wings supports a body that, aloft, looks so much like a rubber chicken, you can't help but laugh.
When he's standing still, though, as tall as a five-year-old, improbably wild among the speeding cars on PCH, you notice that every inch of land around him is spoken for. Every bit of it, whether with a mall or a park or a parking lot, will be tamed within a few years. And there's nothing funny about that.