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Best Practice Makes Perfect

A collaboration with Domino developers about how to do it and how to get it right in Domino

My wife and I are vacationing in a housekeeping cabin on a lake in the middle of Minnesota -- lots of trees, lily pads, etcetera. This morning we were standing on the dock watching a great blue heron fish for its breakfast. The bird was very still. We were very still, watching it. Suddenly, further along the shore, there was a rustling in the cat-tails.  A hairy head poked out -- someone's black Labrador Retriever. We could see the dog and the bird, but they couldn't see each other because of a bend in the shoreline.

The dog waded along the shore, eventually rounding the bend. We could see the moment it saw the heron -- it froze and its ears went up. At the same moment, the heron turned its head to look at the dog. It was an electric moment -- eyeball power, zing zing!  They were about 30 meters from each other, so there was no chance that the dog could catch the heron before it flew off, and they must have both known this. Furthermore, a heron is a big bird with a nasty sharp bill; even a good-sized Lab really wouldn't want to tangle with it.

So I could imagine the heron thinking, darn, do we really have to go through this? Won't that dog just go away and let me have my breakfast in peace? And the dog thinking, "Oh, critter! Must chase!" because that's what dogs do, whether they have any realistic expectation of catching or not. After all, they chase cars, and it's not like they could subdue the car if they caught it. They just looked at each other for what seemed like the longest time.

Then the dog took off running -- speed-wading, actually, throwing up a great deal of spray. And the heron, taking its time, launched off over the water with slow wing-beats. The dog didn't stop until it reached the spot where the heron had been. Just to establish that he had chased the heron off, I think  -- in case anyone might be thinking it was about to fly off anyway.

Andre Guirard | 23 September 2009 02:32:03 PM ET | Gull Lake, Brainerd, MN, USA | Comments (2)


1) nice image
peter b | 10/6/2009 6:40:11 PM

thanks for the image.

took me out of the office for a minute.


2) Which lake?
Tony Austin | 10/17/2009 9:46:49 AM

Was that Lake Bird Be Gone? (Somewhere near Lake Wobegon, I understand?)

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