Thursday, September 07, 2006

Regarding this bird-feeding thing,
Well, maybe I've been overdoing it just a bit... the JUDGE!

Last winter, when it got REAL cold out there, I was getting cabin fever REAL bad. I needed to get outside...I needed some "lake time". I needed to see some scenery; I needed to see the movement of the waves upon the short, I had to GET OUTTA THE HOUSE! So, with the temperature barely 10-above, I drove the car to the parking lot by Independence Point, and the sun coming thru the windshield was warm, and indeed it was nice to be out. It was while I was there that I saw 'em. The birds. Standing out there in the cold. And I began wondering, "how do they survive out here?" Well, it's obvious that I shouldn't take too much pity on them, because they do survive. Somehow. But, something within me just felt really, really bad for them. It was so cold on that particular day that the ducks wouldn't leave the water, since it was probably a handful of degrees warmer than the land.

Since then, I have been feeding the birds on a semi-regular basis. I went over to the "designated bird-feeding area" on the dike road, but I ran into problems there. The Canadian Geese crowd out the seagulls, and step all over each other (and ME!) in their quest to get fed. The Seagulls had to take a back seat. So I would throw over the heads of the geese so the gulls could get some food, too. I kid you not; there was a goose standing in back of me and it gave me a vicious peck because it wanted FOOD! Now I know how geese get their necks WRUNG. I was tempted! So, I decided that I just couldn't put up with the geese. They're big, and they get MEAN. So as the temperatures got warmer, I'd just feed the seagulls in the park. The gulls seem to be not quite as co-dependent as the geese. Also, the gulls, being less tame, will not peck me. So that is a big plus. I would like to think that whenever I'm in the park, the gulls would think to themselves, "oh, that's the guy who feeds us. I like him". But, bird brains being what they are, I'm probably forgotten as soon as the bread runs out. Hmmm...I see a metaphor for our society somewhere in there...

You see a different side of the seagulls when you feed them. They cry out for food like little babies...they act like little kids, each clamoring for food and squawking to get your attention. There are mean seagulls, and there are some who don't compete as well. I try to make sure they all get food. I don't know why I do this, but I feel good when I do. The way I feed them, spreading the crumbs around, they're patient because they know sooner or later I'll get around to them. Sometimes when I'm feeding them, they barely squawk at all. Am I the "bird whisperer"? Nah; they're probably not bright enough for that. I'm probably not either. It's my way of paying them back for all the pleasure they've given me when I've watched them fly around. "Free As A Bird". I can't expect those dumb birds to know who I am or remember that I just fed them half a bakery's worth of bread, or to be thankful that I brought them food. I can't expect that. From birds, or probably even, society in general. But what I can come away with, I suppose, is that I've done something good. I've come to like the gulls. They let their feelings be known...they're characters, they really are. "Rats with wings", they've been called. Maybe. Or, how about "God's creatures"? I think that's a better description.

Maybe I see a parallel between the Seagulls and me. They will approach people, but they keep their distance. And most of the time, you can see them in the park, actually not bugging anyone; they'll be quietly and deliberately searching for worms or crumbs people have left behind. And if a dog comes within half a mile of them, off they go until the dog goes somewhere else. They're even afraid of dogs on leashes. Well, I go about my life and I try not to get in anyone's way. I have friends and acquaintances, but I have never handled close relationships well. And, if I see danger on the horizon, I avoid it. Tonite, at precisely 5 minutes after 7pm, ALL of the seagulls left at the same time, to go to wherever they go at night. And I went home shortly after that. I don't know, part of me thinks I relate better to the birds than I do to other people. There's a lot of clamor in the human race, and I just don't have the energy to deal with it that I once had. And it's when I feel as if my energy is running low that I go and watch the birds fly.

So anyway, this is my first year of feeding the birds. They were getting food from others long before I came along. So, it is quite possible this year that maybe some of them have eaten just a bit too much? Observe the following situation...

...I guess I'd better start bringin' em bread with lower carbohydrates! SQUAWK!


Blogger Word Tosser said...

Also, some people call sea gulls Morman birds... I don't know why...
do you?

11:45 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Well, Cis, at first I was gonna be a smart-aleck and say that they're called Mormon birds because they sometimes annoy the rest of us? But I won't do that...

Funny, tho, I didn't remember it until you left your comment; I think (but am not sure) that the seagulls had something to do with the Mormons initially settling in what is now Salt Lake City. That's all I know. Tell you time a Mormon guy knocks on your door, ask him, and then tell me! Deal?

2:57 AM  

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