BeachAlert File #5

You can tell when the moon is full.  That’s when the tide comes all the way up to the semi-soft sand.  Your legs get a great workout slogging through this stuff.

On a day like this, the ocean can surprise you, getting you wet up to the knees, when you only planned on getting wet up to the ankles.

The seagulls, of course, know exactly where the high-water line is at any given moment.  They rush out to snatch a tasty morsel or two from the receding surf, and then rush back as the tide threatens to engulf their feathery little tushes.  Fast food.

They don’t have to do this, you know.  They have webbed feet and can swim.  They also have wings and can fly away.  I’ve seen them do both.  So this running away from the water must be just a little game they play.

These birds are so tame they’ll let you get close enough to see what they’ve got in their mouths.  There’s one holding a fish about an inch-and-a-half long, while her companion – a great granddaddy of a seagull with a snowy white head — perches on a mound of seaweed, absolute ruler of all he surveys.

“What have you got there, Mrs. Seagull?” I ask, just to make pleasant conversation.

“Don’t talk to her while she’s got her beak full,” her companion proclaims.  “You’ll make her drop her food.”

Oh.  I see.

One lives and learns.

Lynn Fountain Campbell

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