In South Florida, the Morikami Gardens are a beautifully preserved park, where a colony of Japanese settled many years ago. Eventually, most of them returned to Japan, but one lone gardener was left to tend to this spot. Eventually it was donated to Palm Beach County, and is so revered, first Lady Melania Trump brought the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Abe to see it.
The Great Blue heron was a regular in one of the ponds, and exhibited no fear of people. It was convenient to have it pose so closely for the camera.
The gold leaf is 24k gold leaf, and is hand applied using the water gilding method.