Do you know this bird?
From this angle, perhaps it's hard to be sure, because it's signature beak, with pouch, is seemingly smaller than in reality.
I found this brown pelican perched on the end of a pier, enjoying the sun and not inclined to find me at all spooky.
Years ago, I had an even closer encounter with a pelican. I was jogging on Santa Monica beach with a friend when we saw a pelican being thrashed in the shorebreak. We waded in, my heroic friend jumped into a wave and grabbed the bird. We saw it was wrapped in fishing line, which had pinned its wings.
Once on the sand, I held the the bird's body, while my friend unraveled the line. Those birds are bigger and heavier than you might image, and he wasn't at all relaxed like the bird in my photo. But eventually, we folded the wings back in place, me still hanging on, while my friend tried to remove fish hooks that were embedded inside that pouched beak.
Oh, my. There were maybe a dozen hooks, some very old and rusty and not easily dislodged. By this time, we had drawn a small crowd. Someone with a pocket knife helped cut line and pry at the hooks.
Bird lice start running up my arms. Eek. Yuck. Freak out. But I didn't let go. I am forever grateful to a woman who brushed them off me as they came.
After we had done all that could be done, everybody stood back, and I released my grip and scooted back myself. At first, the pelican just stood there, shivering. Then he spread his wings. I was astounded at how immense they were. The sea breeze ruffled his feathers. He just let it blow across him. As minutes ticked by, I began to worry that he was too injured to fly. But then in the blink, a heartbeat, he flapped off, straight across the sea. And was gone.
I like to hope he didn't succumb to injuries but lived a long life for a pelican.
Yesterday, I was on a different pier (I get around) and it was dark. I had taken a deliciously mysterious after-sunset walk by the shore and then wandered onto the wooden pier. I was thinking about my novel-in-progress, which takes place in and around the sea. I looked up to enjoy a scarf of clouds and then saw the Big Dipper. Suddenly, I had an idea for my novel and pulled out my tiny notebook and started scribbling, while glancing up. I drew another crowd--or at least I stopped a group of people walking the pier who all stared up to see what wonder I must be seeing. I mean, I was taking notes, right? Ha!
Have you, my eccentric writing friends, drawn a crowd lately?
Oh! and P.S. I meant to thank two wonderful bloggers for giving me awards recently. I received both awards before so I won't do any passing along this time. But if you haven't visited these ladies, please do. Jemi Fraser included me in the Circle of Friends and Carolina Valdez Miller bestowed a Silver Lining. Thanks again!