Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!

Do click on a few of these!

It had rained all day. Something told me to swing through Ding Darling Refuge one more time. Birders and tourists had been discouraged by the rain and only one other little couple witnessed this most beautiful of events. More than a hundred white pelicans lifted off in wave after bright wave contrasted against the dark receding storm clouds.

Something appeared on my camera screen I'd never seen before: the memory card is full.

Therefore I missed the most dramatic shots, but after that initial moment of heart-sinking disbelief I reminded myself to listen and watch as the light and sound washed over me.

BTW: Need to mention that the white pelican has a wingspan of 10 feet and can weigh up to 20 pounds. Oh yeah.



Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

As much as I love taking photos, sometimes I feel that the camera gets between me and the real experience in the moment. I'm glad you were able to take a breath and watch and listen.

My favorite photo is the horizontal line of pelicans.

julie said...

After looking at them all large sized, I think that last one is my favorite. The contrast between their gleaming wings and the grey sky is just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Lynne. I like the Chorus Line.


Anvilcloud said...

Nicely done!

Daisy-Winifred said...

Oh I love the line of pelicans, I wonder what they might be spelling out in semiphore, would be such fun if their wing positions could be translated in to flag positions. Of course me being me didnot think it would spell out have a nice day but probably something along the lines of 'Where's the umbrella!'

Cathy said...

Sweet Lynne,

Yes! It's a tough choice to let the camera hang from your neck in order to truly be in the moment.

I don't think I'm capable of doing it.

So maybe I better think twice about getting a larger memory card :-D

Oh Julie!

Wish I could have had all of you standing there as that rush of wind and feather swept low over my head.

BTW. I will be over to check on you. I've been remiss in updating my sidebar links and need to get you in there so that my meanderings bring me to your doorway:0)


Hey Jen!

I was hoping you'd catch my post. Pretty cool, eh? We've been through the Ding several more times and haven't even seen great groupings of pelican.

For me - once in a lifetime.



Thank you so much. It was luck based on a hunch. A dang good one!


Ah dear Daisy!

You're a hoot.

Actually - it was I mumbling that I wish I had an umbrella.

It was still spitting rain when I clambered out of the car to get these pixes.

I was willing to sacrifice my camera at the point those beauties started to lift off.

I figured that if the camera seized up I'd still have the memory card.

mon@rch said...

these guys are outstanding! Bravo

Cathy said...

Hey Tom!

Good to see you here. And thank you for the kudos and thanks for dropping by.

オテモヤン said...


KGMom said...

His beak holds more than his belly can...

Julie Zickefoose said...

I have subscribed to you (just learning Google Reader) so I won't miss a post. I'm so glad to see you back. Your photos of the little girls are glorious, as are these pelicans.

Cathy said...

Hey KG Mom!

That was a poem that I always loved to hear my dad recite. Here it is:

"Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican."

Dixon Lanier Merritt

Cathy said...


Thank you. So good to see you here.

I'm glad you found the pictures of those precious children as wonderful as I did. And the pelicans . . what an experience.

(embarrassing admission: I'm not real clear on the subscribing thing:0)

Julie Zickefoose said...

Hi Cathy,

I mo do you a favor now. Everything you need to know about RSS feeds, painlessly. This little bitty video sure helped me!!

Cathy said...

Hey Julie! You're a dear.

I'll get on it.

Larry said...

Wow! I didn't realize they had such a huge wingspan.I hope that I get a chance to see them flying over some time. Pelicans been seen coming though CT before.I clicked on sme of the photos-very nice-Interesting looking bird in flight.

bev said...

I love the white pelicans. First time I saw them in flight was at Tule Lake in northern California. They are really quite something to see. Wonderful photos. Took me awhile to get over here to see them. Just preoccupied with "what comes next". Finally got a blog post up about that. Thanks for your note on the Wildrose charcoal kilns post. We're well - just kind of quiet these days.

Jill said...

Great pelican shots! I do like this bird.