Lili Bonora was a graceful, generous woman.
A native of Monte Carlo, an accomplished cloisonné artist and concert pianist, a gifted cook and floral arranager, she was beloved in Westport. For 28 years Lili’s Fine Food and Catering served coffee, croissants and conversation to railroad passengers on the eastbound side of the station.
Lili died in October of 2011. She left behind countless friends and admirers.
Today, Lili lives again — in the form of a yellow tufted heron.
Over a year ago, the graceful bird had fallen out of her nest. She was attacked by crows.
The hatchling was found, and brought to Weston’s Wildlife in Crisis. There she was lovingly nursed back to health — supported by generous donations that had been made in Lili Bonora’s honor.
On April 16 — around what would have been Lili’s 75th birthday — Lili the heron was set free in the salt marshes of Burying Hill Beach.
Lili stood in shock. She had never been outside. All day — and on into the night — she took stock of her new surroundings. Volunteers from Wildlife in Crisis monitored her, as she made her transition.
The next morning, Lili was safe in a tree. By Easter Sunday she was thriving.
The good folks at Wildlife in Crisis say the hardest part is not saving animals. It’s giving them back their freedom — letting them go.
Thanks to them, Westport now has 2 wonderful Lilis to remember.
(Hat tip to Sarah Gross, for the beautiful photos and wonderful story.)