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Posts Tagged ‘Seagulls’

Our good blogging pal and author extraordinaire, Betsy, over at the “Parenting Is Funny” blog, spotted this big bird on the beach in my last post and asked about the great blue heron.

This majestic and graceful bird frequents the shores of most coastal waterways in the United States and, thanks to tourists and generous fishermen, they come to be quite used to humans, guardedly looking for handouts. I’ve yet to have one eat out of my hand, but they will politely stand nearby so as not to intrude.

I was promised some authentic Pennsylvania bologna earlier this year which fell through, but discovered a nearby hole in the wall peninsula deli carried a reasonable facsimile, beach picnic’s on!

(They also carried my favorite smoked gouda cheese, something dear Daddy got me hooked on in the 60s, a delicacy then)

Perhaps it is their long beak which doubles as a handy fishing tool that makes their stare-down a bit edgy. And if you stare back, they look away quickly, as if their mother had taught them it was impolite to stare and beg.

For such a tall and seemingly imposing bird, they weigh only 5-6 pounds on average because their bones are hollow, just like the pelican….both have great wingspans and navigate gusts of coastal wind better than any pilot.

We are blessed to share our beaches here with such magnificent wildlife, which we try to protect at all costs. The motto tourists often see when visiting, is “Leave only your footprints.” The heron leaves impressive footprints on the sand!

Here, a laughing gull was not laughing as the heron beat him to the treats every time. Too slow, Joe! Check out those big piggies…need a big foot sprawl to support those lanky legs and tall stature. I estimated my friend here was about 3.5-4′ tall.

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill set us all back in myriad ways (understatement). We did what we could to protect the wildlife – this heron was pulled from the oil spill, given a bath in Dawn dish detergent (I once dated the chemical engineer responsible for the invention of Dawn) and lived to tell about it. Er, I mean the heron lived to tell about it – he got all washed off and released. So did the chemical engineer 🙂

Courtesy of The Guardian

Thank You, God, for all things great and small – You, Lord God, made them all! Thank You for all the creatures You made to keep our earth in balance, that we may live in harmony with Your great creation.

~In memoriam of Elizabeth, former member of the Audubon Society, on this All Saints Day~

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My heart soars with these carefree laughing gulls at sunset:

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To be carefree…is to truly be home.

Please visit others’ concepts of what it means to be carefree.

Hey, God…thank You for your encouragement to us to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6) and for asking us to cast all our cares upon You (I Peter 5:7).

It’s gonna be alright…

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Laughing gulls following a ferry, begging for handouts:

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I spy a french fry!

 

 

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Airborne french fry causes this gull to gracefully arch upward to snag it

 

 

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Got it! And the chase is on…

 

 

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Word got out – now more gulls seem to appear from out of nowhere

 

 

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Keeping the pace with grace

 

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Laughing gulls…I can’t help but wonder what they’re laughing about. They never seem to lose their sense of humor.

On the waterfront trail early in the morning, I took advantage of the rising sun, lapping waves and the aroma of blooming roses. On the far side of the path when not directly on the water, I was propelled by the Foo Fighters, U2 and Kings of Leon. I had to turn it off waterside; no need for musical motivation when the seagulls and waves demand your attention.

Not to mention the damned goose that I neglected to see as I focused on the surreal, relaxing beauty of it all. He came right at me, disturbed at my steady clip running. His perfectly white feathers contrasted with his pylon-orange bill, which nipped me square in the crotch. I was sexually assaulted by a goose, yes. This amused the elderly couple leisurely walking several paces ahead facing me. I jumped back in surprise, and put a spring in my step. Nothing like a head-on collision with a determined animal to make you run faster. I suppose they don’t call it “goosing” for nothing.

Dear friend, I wish you could have been with me…kudzu up the cliffs making everything green, friendly smiles and greetings of other early morning beach-walkers, the crackle of shells underfoot while stretching out at the water’s edge, reflections of quickly moving, morning poofy clouds, the gently bobbing sailboats in the marina, and the soothing brackish air with every inhalation. And, of course, the fountain..

A brisk 3 miles later, I was reluctant to leave, so I savored the little vacation by taking the scenic route home, which follows the water. This is the playground of shamed politicians, movie-makers wishing to remain in cognito, and other assorted and sundry Famous American People who have reason to throw off the paparazzi for their whereabouts.

Little bungalows dot the road bordering the water with clever names like “Journey’s End,” “Thanks, Doc!” and “Pettaway’s Getaway.” Or this take on “The Cabin:”

Look closely at the Joneses sign behind; they are still hung over with Mardi Gras beads.

These neighbors have fashioned a whimsical gate leading to their waterfront abode:

On the way home, I stopped by the nursery (finally!) and corrected the pathetic situation on the front porch with fresh, hanging plants in a warm, gentle breeze:

The rest of the afternoon was spent sipping Brontë & Chardonnay on the front porch swing, but gulping the smell of freshly mowed grass.

Sunday found me braving the experience of herding our 4 children into our local Waffle Establishment for a rare meal “out,” (eating out at our house usually means out on the back deck or the front porch). In the afternoon I did an interview for a national magazine (professional/trade – don’t look for me in the next Maxim, k?) and wrapping up laundry for the week.  Oh, and another trip to the park for more sandy fun. Jes’ can’t stay away, dontchaknow?

A blister on my foot from forgetting my “good” running shoes at work, is my price for this weekend, along with a blister on my hand for forgoing the leaf blower to burn a few calories by sweeping the deck by hand. These are my badges of honor for the weekend, and in all irony, the blisters testify to the refreshment I received in the process of voluntary toil.

I hope your weekend was relaxing and replenishing, too, dear reader.

Thanks, God, for hard runs and soft waves, for sharp shells and gentle winds, for blisters and brackish breaths, and for creative neighbors and goosey geese. Okay, well, scratch that last one. Thanks for an awesome weekend.

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