Rising, diving, splash, rising
They don’t live around here, these pelicans. My northern shore is but a way station in their travels farther north and back south of here. But when they stop by for a breather they usually stay for a day or two to feed, and to give everyone else some advanced lessons in flying.
Ever since I first saw them—it would have been down by Los Angeles or thereabouts, I’ve been fascinated by these aerial wizards, skimming, skating the water on their wingtips, effortlessly, as if true children of the wind.
Nature is often like this, disguising the ardent killer in grace. The lion, the cheetah, the hawk, even the larger snakes silently gliding through the understory toward some unsuspecting creature’s death.
The pelican, of course, is no exception, he’s an excellent fisherman. And what fishermen do is spot fish and then skillfully remove them from their element (water) where they’ll soon asphyxiate whether in the beak, gullet, or stomach of this beautiful killer.
Watching them skim, rise, dive, kill, all so beautifully, I can almost forgive this flier his deadly motive. Almost.