Friday, December 6, 2013

Upstaging the Brown Pelican

Today I could easily write about the cold weather.  But it would seem pretense because this corner of the Texas coast is in the 40’s.  Not to mention that I’m in a stick house with well-insulated walls and natural gas furnace, unlike some quarter million folks in the Dallas area, suffering from an ice storm that took away their electricity.
I have friends in Dallas; I have friends in RVs; and I have friends traveling in not so good travel conditions.  So rather than write about the weather, I thought I’d post a couple of photos that might bring some warm laughter, or at least a warming smile.
This past Tuesday, while birding the Texas City dike, I donned rubber boots and slowly walked out onto a sand bar.  “Walking” in my infamous squatting, rubber-boot duck walk, I slowly approached a Brown Pelican, surrounded by a group of gulls and terns.
I paused and stayed low to the ground, hoping for a good photo.  The pelican seemed delighted by my interest, posing for the camera and graciously turning her head to one side, allowing for that sought after eye reflection.
I was thrilled to get this one fairly crisp photo of a juvenile (first year) Brown Pelican, on land, exposing her soft white underbelly:

Suddenly, a Herring Gull, just out of frame of the first photo, made her move, flying low, and dangling pink legs with freshly painted black toe-nail polish.  She stole the scene, “Look at me, look at me, look at me!” 

And as you can tell from the photo, pretty much everyone turned their gaze to the Herring:  the young Brown Pelican, the Royal Terns, and this tickled birding photographer.  I especially like the facial expression of the Brown Pelican, as if to say “Excuse me, but this is my photo shoot!”
I fell backwards from my squatting view, and of course the Brown took her cue:  she was gone with the wind.  I left the area, knowing the juvenile would want to return to her spot.
I hope my Dallas friends and RVing friends have electricity, heat and a warm cup of tea.  And maybe a good warm chuckle…especially over the missing photos of my squatting in rubber boots (before the Brown) and my falling over backwards (before the Herring), who upstaged the photo shoot.


  1. Nice photograph! That pelican's demeanor reminds me of the disapproving glances our aunts and grandmothers sometimes gave us over their reading glasses. You could PhotoShop some granny glasses on and it would be downright nostalgic!

  2. It gave this RVer a chuckle! Did you plunk down in the water, or were you safe on land?

  3. Glad you got a chuckle! Hope you get your LP for the cold weekend. I plunked down on crunchy, sharp oyster shells! No harm to me or my camera, and it was great to laugh at myself with the Royals watching.

  4. I thought sure that you were going to say that when you stood up your boots were stuck in the mud and you couldn't walk! Great photos and great story!

  5. Ms Hazel, thought of boots stuck in mud gave me a good chuckle! Thanks for encouraging my photos and writing!


I no longer accept Anonymous Comments. Please use your Google account to sign in and leave a comment.