Thursday, February 09, 2006

Low-level flight


Seagulls have always been, and will always be, scavengers. Everyone knows someone who has had an unhappy experience with one of these animals. Often, it involves a hot dog, an unexpected drop-in, an empty bun and a crying child. Nasty stuff, but no one ever said that life in Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom would always be pretty.

Still, they're beautiful to watch in the air. Unlike many birds that frantically flap their wings to stay tenuously in the air, seagulls are masters of the sky. They glide with an agility and ease that would make even fighter pilots jealous. Every time I go to the beach, I find myself spending at least a bit of time watching them alternate between the converging environments of sand, surf and air. It's hard to not wish that we could be as adept in all three.

I know: on the surface, it seems somewhat ridiculous that I'm fascinated by a species of dirty birds. Sometimes it's the little things that inspire.

Your turn: Elegance can be found anywhere. In what other unexpected places have you found it?

18 comments:

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I shared a funnel cake with about 20 seagulls last year. (and a few pigeons too) Quite an experience. They had more funnel cake than I did, but it was fun. I can't say I don't like the birds. They amuse the heck out of me :)

PI said...

Elegance in the shy, Red Deer of Exmoor.

kenju said...

We have a lot of gulls here in Raleigh, even though we are 200-250 miles from the ocean. Their flight is calming to watch. I also love to watch hawks. The slithering of snakes is rather elegant (espcially if they are heading away from me)! The way a deer stops to look at human movement, the turn of their heads and antlers is regal to me.

Plain Jane said...

I found it in the gentle gaze of my protective Monster Dog.

http://flickr.com/photos/coffeeandvarnish/85832582/in/set-1832679/

~A~ said...

Praying Mantis' ~ If you can stomach watching one hunt and eat it's very cool and they're very danty in a weird bug sort of way.

Robin said...

Well, once I watched this plastic shopping bag being whipped around in..whoa..wait a minute, no...that was American Beauty. I guess I'd have to say that I find Skunks not so much beautiful, but utterly adorable. I also love the walk of a battle scarred Tomcat with half an ear and a crooked tail sauntering proudly by (and just out of reach of!) a dog.

vicki said...

I'm enjoying my visit more and more- lovely photography.

WendyWings said...

I love to watch giraffes move to me they are elegant yet at the same time they look clumsy, a dicotomy.
Michele sent me back !!

Im Chele In [dot] LA said...

oh my gosh this is a great image.........
mine is sunsets........

jac said...

oh man i like watching the seagulls but they are so... uhmm... greedy just like in nemo! LOL
i absolutely LOVE watching the squirrels and the local birds feeding from my balcony.
back again from michele's tonight!

K Jones said...

I am here in Utah and the seagulls are quite famous, but I think what I love are the farms with their barn owls and predatory hawks. I love them.

Sandy said...

I get lost watching butterflies and bees flutter over flowers.

Seagulls are the complex creature. On one hand they are so very rotten and on the other, they are amazing to watch glide over the water. Nice image you've shared.

Michele sent me back over tonight.

Shane said...

one pooped on me while i was on the ferry going to the statue of liberty a few months ago.

vanx said...

I have found elegance in New Jersey, where I live. A good example is the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer bottle water tower at the old Newark bottling factory that they are tearing down next to the Garden State Parkway. We also have beautiful beaches. But the better seagulls in New Jersey hang around the dumpsters at the Livingston Mall.

Nice photos.

Rick

vanx said...

I have found elegance in New Jersey, where I live. A good example is the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer bottle water tower at the old Newark bottling factory that they are tearing down next to the Garden State Parkway. We also have beautiful beaches. But the better seagulls in New Jersey hang around the dumpsters at the Livingston Mall.

Nice photos.

Rick

Malinda777 said...

I love your photos. There is so much peace in your work. Keep snapping.

Here from Michele

margalit said...

My favorite thing about gulls is that they come inland during the rain. We live at least 10 miles from the ocean, but when it rains, we have gulls in our yard and I can't figure out why.

I'm a big bunny lover and we have a lot of the cutest bunnies in our gardens. My neighbor shooes them away and I welcome them with open arms.

I also feed the crows because I find them so freaking funny. They like apples with peanut butter and if you toss them on a high roof, they get the before the squirrels do.

jude said...

yes, they do fly gracefully through the air, and here in the midwest, they fly gracefully over parking lots looking for discarded french fries and anything else that makes it out the car windows. Of course they look much more angelic flying over a sandy beach than a walmart parking lot.