Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bird Legs


I had to laugh when I came upon about eighty bird legs the other day. It’s been said I have bird legs… Okay, mine might look just slightly similar to bird legs hanging from my Bermuda shorts, but not like these. No.


I also had to laugh that I spent a few hours off work on Friday afternoon looking for a lifer at the wetlands with no success. While Larry is checking off eighty species a weekend in Connecticut, Julie is documenting her encounters with Manatees, giant Ant-eaters, and giant Otters in Guyana, and Thomas captures amazing Indian Tigers and Indian Peafowl on the other side of the world, I’m eyeing up Ring-billed Gulls and taking poor photos on a parking lot. Wanderlust doesn’t get me too far.


The group was peaceful. To sit on the parking lot and get up close and personal with the scavengers would have been nice, but I didn’t want to make the local news.


The patsy came forward.

Got any French fries? Cheez-its?


The militant put pressure on, in seagull-speak.

Troops! No French fries! No Cheez-its!


And they became agitated.


And they started walking.


It happened so suddenly. I wasn’t ready.


Dang. I was all thumbs on camera controls, as usual.


Let's substitute the automobiles and TJ Max with an ocean surf background, please?


They returned. Whatever. I had enough. Maybe I’ll bring a stale loaf of bread next time. Or, maybe not.

This morning, Michael tore an article out of a Sunday magazine for me to read. I’m glad he did – written by Cesar Millan, entitled, “What Your Pet Can Teach You”. The last lesson hit home,

Celebrate Every Day

For a dog, every morning is Christmas morning. Every walk is the best walk, every meal is the best meal, every game is the best game. We can learn so much by observing the way our pets rejoice in life’s simplest moments. Take time every day to celebrate the many gifts that are hidden in the ordinary events of your own life.”


Bubbly Bella, Spring 2007



NCmountainwoman said...

Amen, Mary. We learn from our dogs every single day.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Love the last picture, Mary... We DO need to learn from our pets--especially dogs. They love us constantly with no strings and you can keep them happy in such simple ways.


Sherry at the Zoo said...

I think dogs teach you everything you need to know!

Kim said...

Great gull pictures. I can picture you in the parking lot with your camera! HA!

The dog photo is classic.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Amen May.
Every bellyrub is the BEST bellyrub!

Anonymous said...

LOL! I have spent hours and hours scanning thousands and thousands of Great Black-Backed and Herring gulls in flocks that would make Alfred Hitchcock hide under his bed, looking for the occasional odd gull that comes through and usually it is in some obscure 2.5 year plumage that isn’t in the filed guide. I’m about to pop $80.00 for some advanced gull books. I feel for you Mary, I really do. Say, in the 10th photo, the second bird from…ah, skip it!

Kathleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen said...

Bella with with the bubble is beautiful. Pure joy!

We are so lucky to be able to live vicariously through our blogger friends.

Q said...

Amen. We learn from each other too. Gulls anyplace look good to me.
Have a great week.

Corey said...

What were you looking for at the wetland? The reason I ask is that if you miss it, it's usually there when I go look for it! Ha!

Rose said...

Cesar is so wise! Our pets are very forgiving, too; no holding grudges or reminding you of past mistakes.

We can't all be world travellers, Mary; I enjoyed your parking lot photos as much as seeing exotic birds in the Amazon:)

RuthieJ said...

Those are fun pictures of the gulls--especially the take-off shots. I never knew they had those different colors on their tail feathers.
I like your dog quote too. I guess that's why Sophie never gets tired of chasing her frisbee.

Rurality said...

Poor photos?! You?! Never...

*Really* loved that last one!

Tina said...

Funny commentary and enjoyed your gull chasing pics..I always feel bad when I see how many gulls we now have living near us, foraging in the parking lots... and we are many many miles from the Atlantic!
I really like watching Dog Whisper and love how he stays in tune with dogs..right now mine is driving me nuts me me.. but isn't that part of having a pet!!

KGMom said...

You know, it looks like knees on those gulls. Too funny.
Even though they may seem ordinary, they are still wonderful to look at.
Every living thing is. (I think.)

Peg Silloway said...

Well, you had me at the gull photos - full of legs and yellow eyes and attitude. But Bella - aw, I just melted at the pure joy of that moment. Thanks for the reminder of what's important.

Heidi said...

What a fun picture of Bella! I can imagine every day for her is like Christmas :) She and Chloe probably go digging into the toys you so neatly piled up the night before and then drag them all over the house.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Those bird legs are a hoot Mary. I love the way you look at birds, life.

I saw lots of these rascals today. They must be on the move. We sometimes have them at our mall. They are beginning to be pests.

I will never forget seeing a group of Laughing Gulls in Charleston fighting over a box of donuts that someone dropped in the parking lot. They were comical.

The quote is good too. That Cesar is something else. Yes, I am always learning from my dear Luna. Another thing he says is that you don't always get the dog you want but you get the dog you need.

Wendy said...

Oh yeah, I agree too. Loved that last pic. I think your pics were good anyway, even though the background wasn't what you wanted. And you caught those birds flying off too.
I remember being on the beach in Maine when a sassy seagull stole my sandwich! Before I could think, I was up and running after the thief. Then I stopped. What on earth am I doing chasing a seagull - and in front of all these people??? Would I really eat the sandwich even if I'd caught the bird??
Nope! I turned red as a beet and plopped down on my towel.

Mel said...

Totally agree on that quote!

Sherri said...

Living here on the coast I see them all the time. I love your photos of them. Especially the one of the "patsy" and "Bubbly Bella".

Minerva said...

Cesar is a wise man. That theory holds true when you come home from work, too. Dogs greet you like they haven't seen you in weeks. Every day, my return from work is like a fanfare. A nice end to a day.

That Bella picture makes me smile.

Jayne said...

It's always odd to see them just hanging around the WalMart or Kmart parking lots.

Loved the Parade article by Cesar Millan!

A New England Life said...

Hi Mary!

I love your 'Legs' post! Your right, the legs really do stand right out! lol! And then when I hit that picture with the huge TJ Maxx/Homegoods, I gasped. Oh how I love Homegoods! lol!

Perfect quote about dogs. Your photo of Bella says so much about her personality. Just imagine what SHE would do for a French Fry or Cheez-it . . .


A New England Life said...

Oh, I almost forgot, the picture of the birds fanned out tails is beautiful!

Cheryl said...

Loved the always make everything fun Mary.

And Bella....beautiful bubbly Bella......what a joyous photograph.......

So true, dogs enjoy every moment....the human race has so much to learn......


Bella + bubbles = thrilling :o)

Andrea said...

Absolutely true!! My blog is about that very much I've learned about life from Sophie. Thank you so much for sharing...that last picture was fantastic!!!! :)

Dog_geek said...

Great words of wisdom about enjoying every day. My dogs don't waste time wallowing in self pity or worrying about the future, and they are the ones who help me realize when I'm spending too much time or energy on those fruitless activities!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I can identify with wanderlust, Mary. Sometimes I get it really bad especially when I see the glorious scenery in in other blogs and pictures.

Oh to be a well-loved, well-fed inside dog. That is the life! Who wouldn't be happy with that kind of trouble free life. I think I'd swap right now.

J.G. said...

Great shots and insight into the seagull brain!

I have nominated you for the Premios Dardo Award. Please visit for details.

jason said...

I had to laugh, Mary. They look like high school kids lining up for band practice. Too funny!

Someone from work recently commented how strange she thought it when she found a similar sight in a store parking lot: gobs of gulls hanging out on the blacktop. What serendipity that you photographed the very same experience.

Anonymous said...

Mary, what I enjoy about your photos is that they're accompanied by your inimitable stories. I feel like I'm right with you, looking at these silly birds. And an Amen to your last bit about pets. At our household, we've coined the term "Sammed" to represent what happens when a certain kitten ambushes her feline roomies just for the fun of it. Great shot of Bella and her bubble!

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.