Why Does the Wood Stork Dance?

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It looks like a crazy dance, this  exuberant display, a  solo fandango. But it’s survival, baby, and complex as it gets. The Wood Stork’s (Mycteria Americana) pink feet stir up the water and scare out a fish, whereupon the fastest bill in the vertebrate world snaps shut and the dance begins all over again.

The Wood Stork was recently removed from the endangered species list, but is still considered threatened.

I was lucky to be out for a walk around the campus of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville when this three and a half foot tall bird with a wingspan of five feet was fishing for its supper.

The only camera available was on my phone, so the photos are not very sharp, but if you click on a small image, you’ll a least get a big version of a slightly fuzzy picture!

My walk turned into an art walk, too. Benefactors have enabled Mayo to install various art projects throughout the campus.  My favorite is:







“Selfie” on a warm, humid September afternoon in Jacksonville, Florida.

I touched the smooth black sphere as it rotated in a shallow pool of water.  I felt a frisson of connection to it and to everything and everyone else in that moment and was deeply moved.


Patients and their families sit on benches or walk the circular paths around water features, art and unstoppable nature. Mayo is a temple of cutting edge medical research held within a framework that honors our humanity and our souls, where true healing dwells.



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