I fell in love with brown pelicans over the past summer. I first noticed their elegance as I was sitting outside on the front deck of our vacation rental. There was a view of the water, the inter-coastal waterway to be exact, and the breeze felt great as the hot Texas sun beamed down on the coastal inhabitants. While enjoying that coastal breeze combined with the lack of air conditioning on the deck, I noticed the pelicans flying above. They would cruise high above the water with their eyes focused on the prize. Occasionally I viewed them catching their prize by diving straight down head first into the water to grab their fish. My favorite part was watching them soar. Normally in groups of 2-7 birds flying in a type of formation, like stealth fighting planes. The flew so smooth, classy and elegant. They made all the other smaller birds look awkward in flight. It began to be a great treat for me view them. Every time someone would go out onto the front deck if the pelicans were flying my name would be called so I could rush outside to enjoy their entertainment. Maybe that’s a sign of old age or of becoming older. Maybe it’s just a sign that I am ready to slow down and smell the flowers, so to speak.
Since that stay I have begun noticing birds of all kinds and would eventually like to take some bird watching trips with people who know their birds and could teach me more about them. They are fascinating creatures. My children made fun of me because I suddenly developed this fascination with birds on our vacation. I kept a couple of bird books on hand so when ever a new species flew by I could try to detect it.
I remember coming back home after that trip and reading in the newspaper about a Palacios fish farmer who was being charged for shooting at and killing several brown pelicans because they were eating some of the fish he was raising. I was aghast. “I hope they throw the book at that jerk,” I said. The brown pelicans are just coming out of being listed as an endangered species. I think the public needs to be better educated about our wildlife and why need to sustain it. They should start teaching that in grade schools and continuing teaching it in high schools because as it is now too many allow greed to cloud their judgement just like that Palacios fish farmer.
The beauty I found today was in my memories of the brown pelicans in flight. Majestic birds exhibiting nature’s beauty.