Bird Buddies

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This week I had a serious case of “Blog Block.”

I couldn’t think of anything to blab about in a blog and it seemed that my brain was sporting a total goose-egg as far as ideas. I got into Black Beauty and she and I took my problem to one of my favorite places to amble, the Dana Point Harbor. I was thinking the fresh air would clear my head…but since my head was already empty, that would be redundant, ya think?

I usually start writing on Tuesday and finish up by Thursday night. It was now quite late Wednesday afternoon I hadn’t even started.   There I was wandering along the walkway in the Harbor when I began to notice different birds. Not that I haven’t observed the little feathery fellows before, but it got me to thinking (are you ready for this?) how some of the people I know are like the different birds I see…and my friends are like “bird buddies.”

Don’t get nervous, I’m not naming names here. But you will probably know who you are.

An interesting fact someone imparted to me a couple of weeks ago…there is no such thing as a “Sea Gull.” There are “Gulls” who live by the “Sea” but a Gull is a Gull is a Gull.  I didn’t argue the point since the person telling me this is far wiser than I and is a native to these parts, whereas I am a transplant.

So in my stroll, I happened to look up the top of a street light and saw two very sleek, sparkling white, giggling Gulls  (I know, Gulls laugh but “giggling” was more alliterative than “laughing” and you know how I love alluding to alliteration.) It made me think of some friends who are always so put together and clean and they even always smell nice. I’m not sure if gulls exude a pleasant scent because I’ve never gotten close enough to sniff one, but these pals of mine do.

A little further along the rocky jetty I spied a blue Heron swimming around the Harbor inlet. Usually when I spot them they are just standing at the edge of the water, but this one was quite busy, diving under, obviously looking for food. Lo and behold if it didn’t come up with something that to me looked to be the size of Jaws and even though the poor fish was fighting to get back into the water, this Heron persisted and finally swallowed it whole. I then watched in horror as he now had this enormous bulge in its long neck where the fish was lodged and the Heron began to do what looked like gagging. Not only was I up on the path and there were huge rocks and about 15 feet of water between me and the struggling bird, but I also had no idea if one could perform a Heimlich on a Heron. I looked around to see if there was someone I could ask when with what I swear was an enormous burp, his neck was once again long and slender and he had gone back to diving. Scared the bejesus out of me…but then I thought of my friends who frequently bite off more than they can chew, but somehow they always finish the task…and seldom end it with a burp.

Meandering more, I saw some huge crows up in a tree, just sitting there, squawking out ear-splitting “caws” but not one was actually doing anything. They were all just making noise on their individual branches, sometimes several of them at once. Congress?

Then I hit a road block of sorts: a plethora of pigeons.

I have never liked pigeons. This hatred goes back to my days of working in New York City where on more than one occasion these dirty birds plopped their excrement on my freshly washed hair as I made my way from the subway to my job. They say it’s “good luck” if that happens, but as far as I can see, it’s only good luck for the person they missed.

These dull grey creatures surrounded an elderly woman I call “The Pigeon Lady” (clever name, no?) who was standing directly in my path, feeding them. She seems to be in the Harbor at the same time I am the days I walk it. She is always dressed quite well, in full make up, sporting colorful silk scarves, a broad-brimmed hat and leaning on a fancy cane with her non-feeding hand.

It is strictly against the rules in the Harbor (and on the beaches, as well) to feed the birds or any of the wildlife and there are signs posted all over admonishing visitors to not do this. The part of me that is the Catholic-school-girl who always obeys the rules wants to tell her that she’s breaking the law, but the part of me who thinks it may be her only interaction with any type of living things tells me to just greet her and ask how she is and not try to be the local constabulary. They pay people far more qualified than me to take care of those matters.

So, these “Putrid Pigeons” are the people in your life that are there and sometimes they make a mess of things…and maybe even they you-know-what on you (what they did to me in NYC) But nevertheless, they are part of your life!

Just  as I got back to Black Beauty, a flock of small swallows gracefully launched themselves off towards where the ball of fire that was the setting sun was painting the sky hot pink and orange. It looked almost like a postcard or an ad for Orange County. They are such small, sweet little things and they just go about their business and don’t really bother anyone but add to the beauty of the world that surrounds us. Those are the friends who are just there when you need them, don’t ask for anything, don’t make much noise but add to your life in so many ways…and sometimes you don’t even notice unless you look and realize that they are truly gifts.

So, to all my “Bird Buddies”…the sleek Gulls, the working Herons, the sweet swallows and even the Putrid Pigeons, I thank you for making my life so awesome …and interesting…with your presence. You are my “bird buddies.”

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One Response to Bird Buddies

  1. Debby Fedderly says:

    Loved your “Bird Buddies” article and laughed as I imagined a Heimlich on a Heron!

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