I like to explore and photograph the swamps and rivers of Florida in my canoe. I am especially enamored of the great white egrets (Andrea alba) that are ubiquitous wherever I paddle. They live their entire lives (nesting, mating, hunting, feeding their young,) in what amounts to a formal ball gown. Cleaning their splendid attire requires meticulous preening which they do up in the tops of the highest trees, clutching a naked branch often with only one talon, buffeted by winds and updrafts. It is a thrilling, beautiful grooming ballet.