pelicans

Sundown in San Pedro

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rose-sunset

Last night at dusk, Rose and I sat on the edge of our dock with glasses of wine and watched these guys deliver a load of lumber to a neighbor who is rebuilding his pier and restaurant.

The sailboat brought in the lumber and off-loaded it to the skiff, which was then poled into shore across the shallows. Man, that was hard labor.

The water was uncommonly still, as was the air. Even the constant murmur of waves tumbling over the barrier reef was muted.

Meanwhile, pelicans were diving into the water around us, like kamikaze bombers in pursuit of the sardines so thick that, for a brief moment, the sea looked like it was coming to a boil.

These birds are the most graceless hunters I have ever seen.

It is a barely controlled plunge which almost sends them ass over teakettle, were it not for their wings breaking momentum on the water surface. Sometimes they come up with a fish, more often they do not.

Just thought I’d share some of the life on the end of the pier.

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In praise of sitting still in Belize

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Frigate birds gather as Jose the fisherman cleans his catch on our dock. You can tell how Jose's day went by the number of birds he attracts.
Frigate birds gather as Jose the fisherman cleans his catch on our dock. You can tell how Jose’s day went by the number of birds he attracts.

I sit in the red Adirondack chair, the only one with a cushion, albeit a thin cushion,  and marvel at the well-practiced thievery of the frigate birds.

I used to think that they were like a natural GPS tracking system for schools of sardines. Where ever five or more were gathered, soaring so gracefully on the breeze, dipping, swooping, gliding sideways — surely there were fish below.

But while the frigates are doing their narcissistic act of effortlessly artful skywriting up above, it seems that kamikaze pelicans, low-cruising cormorants and the brisk business-like white terns are doing all the heavy lifting. Read the rest of this entry »