Wednesday, January 20, 2016


It was a cold day and not even the bright Florida sunshine could change that.
No windelicious summer breezes could be found. Perhaps they were off to the Keys or even farther south. In their absence a stern wind with cold shoulders made it a day for bill warming wing tucks ... and empty stomachs.
We stood pondering the cold, the wind, the lack of quiet smooth water for skimming bills to snap up fish.
This wasn't good.
Best to conserve energy on such a day.

And yet ...
The humans were out in force, skimming this way and that on the tumultuous sea.
 Their smooth black feathers glistened as they dipped giant bills into the waves.

Down, across, ...

...and under, they skimmed relentlessly.
We had to admire that persistence, even as we debated their fishing strategy.

We moved when they got too close ...for all their skimming, we never saw one catch a single fish.
We were concerned that they might be hungry from all that fishless skimming.
They didn't fly very well so we had no fear in the air.
Besides, they only came out of the water briefly and then plunged back in to skim again.

Occasionally, tired and fishless, they tucked their big bills under and rested, much like our flock on this winter day.
Probably, like us, he's wishing for the calm, flat water that makes skimming a breeze.


Julie Zickefoose said...

That human-bird interface is a beautiful one. Avian skimmers seem so forgiving of us. I love it when you take the voice of another life form. It makes me think about what they may perceive and wonder about us. Because they must wonder. I love the shot of the surfer coming through the sheaves of wings.

threecollie said...

Oh! This is wonderful! I love the way you think.

Marilyn Kircus said...

Loved the juxtaposition of humans and birds. Wonderful blog.

Pablo said...

Happy Birthday!

kevin said...

Happy Birthday, Holmes...

Wally Jones said...

I envy the skills of both species of skimmers.
Very nice post!

lisa said...

Those are some pretty awesome pictures of the surfer! Those are some very talented skimmers!

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