Who said animals couldn't be included in "Gratuitous Beauty?" Look at the flow of this picture -- the lines and the movement captured in a single shot have a natural cadence that you can almost hear the lapping of the ocean against the shore and the powerful 'swoosh' of his wings.
Blue Bayou (heron) by Tarrby. Another title from one of my favourite Roy Orbison songs, it seemed to fit the mood of the image. I took the Great Blue Heron in Florida and created the background with my own textures, blended in Topaz Adjust and Simplify CS3.