Saturday, January 23, 2010

Six Brown Pelicans

If running errands in the south end of town, we'll always take a moment to go look at the ocean as it presents itself off to the left of the Redondo Beach Pier. The ocean has more moods than a cocktail party full of people (or rehab for that matter.)

It's quite usual to see pelicans perched atop poles on the Pier, but not where we saw these yesterday. And that was on the "view road" south of the Pier. It's a thin road with pull-in parking spaces (metered, you may be sure) and a sidewalk running parallel to the beach. In good weather (not that we know about that recently) you will see people walking their dogs, pushing baby carriages and taking in the view. Young lovers (men in hoodies and pants below their butts; their ladies clad in skinny minny tank tops) clutch each other, oblivious to the view.

There were few cars there yesterday, so I wondered at the one that was blocking the road. I looked more closely and there was a big brown pelican standing in front of the car, looking bewildered! Five more sat safely on the sidewalk looking anxiously at us and out to sea.

"I've never seen them up here!" Richie said. "Maybe protection from the wind?" I said. (It was really blowing up.) We later learned that the ocean is fed by street run-off and when we've had a big rain, the sea is damned near toxic. The pelicans feathers were affected by this liquid offal.

Poor things were trying to become landlubbers!

More Brown Pelican Lore: We were enjoying a glass-bottom boat ride in Cabo as well as our skipper, a Mexican gentleman of some considerable girth. With a wink and a nod, Chui gestured at a colony of pelicans sitting on the rocks above Honeymoon Beach and said slyly, 'Mexican turkeys!"

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