September 25, 2013

Autumn equinox at the beach . . .

Squid egg sac

Watercolor sunset

Teaching opportunity

I've watched this immature California gull pester it's mother for food for days now. The common tactic of the mother gulls is to present the food and let the offspring figure it out then ignore further pleas for a meal (my take of course). This mother gull seemed to be more patient than any other I've witnessed. She drug the crab beyond the waters edge and presented it to her offspring several times. Her 'child' attempted to eat for a moment and then gave up crying and begging. It's mother then ripped a leg off the crab and presented it; same crying and begging.  Often times I'll see the mother gull get bored or disgusted with the whole thing and fly off, leaving it's frantic offspring to figure it out. This mother persisted in her attempt to get the whiny bird to eat on his own. She repeatedly fended off mature gulls that swooped in to grab the prize. During one of these grab attempts, the ocean lapped up and pushed the whole crab (minus 1 leg) right to the feet of another waiting gull. The opportunistic bird promptly grabbed the crustacean and took flight. It was only then that the mother flew a short distance away leaving her offspring crying in helpless despair. 

As I watched this drama unfold it brought to mind my own parenting dilemma . . . when to assist and when to let your child fail and hopefully learn, seems to be a never-ending conundrum . . .


  1. wonderful photos... i too watch and learn all day.

    a little update on the ferals, i kept them all! it was too hard to think about dividing them, they had health issues and after nursing them all to well i was hooked... been at the beach for 3 months now, eventually they will go when i go~

    1. You're a tender-hearted soul quiet life . . . love to see them on your blog sometime ; ) Thanks so much for stopping by and the update . . .

  2. I tried to post a comment earlier and it might have been deleted by mistake by me, so hopefully I'm not leaving a duplicate here now!

    I love how you have been watching that momma bird. The fact that you have taken the time out of your day to observe them speaks volumes because not too many people would take the time to stop, breathe, and watch. I also really love that second photo above the most. Did you use any apps to modify any of the photos for clarity, lighting, etc.?

    1. No duplicate chasingsimpledreams, thanks for commenting!

      That's part of enjoying my beach walks, stopping to chat with people, picking up trash, observing daily beach life. It's always something new, something to learn. I'm so grateful to live here . . .

      Photos: I'm a very lazy photographer and rarely post process my images. I use a pretty basic camera currently while saving for something with better glass and more flexible settings. I did zero on all of these photos. If I start fussing I'd never get them posted! I do want to go back and tweak sharpness and light on the birds and maybe a bit of contrast on the second photo. Because I'm so lazy my intention is to slow down and compose each shot. Of course if I see dolphins or whales all bets are off! Then it's spray and pray!

  3. Well, that just speaks even more to your amazing photographer's eye then. If I lived where you live, you would see me out on that beach every day too. Don't think I could ever take that coast line for granted. Glad that you don't either. Btw, when is the whale migration season?

  4. Thanks Terri!

    We see mostly grey whales and Humpbacks here although there were sightings of a blue whale earlier this year! The greys and Humpbacks are typically feeding in the arctic waters of Alaska until November. December through April/May, they head down to the warm waters of Baja. Orchas follow the path of the greys. Many years ago I witnessed hundreds of Humpback mothers and their calves from the air in a small Piper Comanche . . . it was a spectacular scene embellished in my memory . . . Here are some links you might enjoy . . .


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!