For three days, the blue heron leads us downriver. In the mornings we push off in canoes through the olive green water of the lower Guadalupe, made murkier by Hurricane Harvey’s visit just over a month before. We’d forget about the heron while focusing on more urgent matters: sunscreen, keeping the boat upright, alligators, spicy peanuts, cold beer. But then, with an audible swoosh, its blue wings unfurl, and the bird glides downstream to yet another cypress branch, showing off his mighty wingspan, his graceful flight. Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in late August caused the Guadalupe to flow over its banks in Victoria and Cuero. And while many trees are down and furniture hangs high in the branches of others during our October trip, the flood certainly hasn’t washed away everything beautiful. Click the image above to continue reading.