Sunday, September 30, 2007

This Week's Laundry: Turning Summer into Fall part 1

It's Fall. It didn't feel like it on Wednesday. It was high 80's and humid and I hung my laundry out thinking how smart I was...until it started thundering and raining...for two days! So I finally gave up and brought the laundry in and threw it in the dryer. Oh well. I did get to enjoy the beach one last time with Patrick two days before "Autumn" (the last day of summer here was rainy) and today we rang in the Autumn coolness with a walk and a favorite Fall pilgrimage to the apple orchard.


Living in a coastal state I have heard of rogue seagulls, seagulls swarming a (stupid) beachgoer who decides to mass feed some gulls, I even posted some pics of seagulls at the annual alewife run in the spring fighting each other for fish. I've heard stories of seagulls swooping down to steal a little girl's cookie out of her hand, and of course we love to call them "rats with wings" around here, but I had never experienced or observed the brazen acts of deliberate scavenger behavior as I did last Friday by a pair of gulls.

When we arrived the beach was minimally filled, maybe 25 people, mostly retired folks enjoying the peace and quiet of a beach after school's in. But peace and quiet it was not because this miserable gull whined and nagged at us as soon as we sat down. (I'll call her "Nagger")

I wasn't quite sure if Nagger was sick, calling to another gull or what, but she walked near our post and kept getting closer. Then she went up to a male (I'll call him "Matey") and started whining at him and pecking at his beak. Matey did nothing--shied away a bit, but didn't peck back or fly away, just tolerated her.

(HMMMM...Marriage Jokes anyone?)

So then I thought this was some kind of fall mating thing, but NO! Once we had eaten and walked down to the water with our pail I noticed the two gulls scoping out our blanket and lunch bag a little closer. I let them carry on for a few moments because I was curious to see what they would do. The lunch was in a zipped bag. We hadn't left anything open except a can of lemonade. Unbelievably Matey was able to put his beak into an opening between the zipper and bag and pull out a bag of chocolate covered fruit and slung it onto the sand!

(Sorry no pics for that one!)

I'd watched enough so we ran and shooed them off and put the lunch bag into my larger tote bag where I thought for sure they wouldn't even attempt to retrieve it. But sure enough a while later we were digging in the sand 12 feet or so away from our post and along come Nagger and her faithful Matey peeking into the tote bag!

So we shooed them away again. "Go catch a fish you lazy birds!" Patrick was beginning to see the game in this and every time he saw them he started running at them. They continued to eye us and our stuff and this time I put my fleece jacket on top of everything in the tote, and wrapped the handles around each other securing the bag further. Did they leave it alone?

Ah. No. But this time I was ready with the camera to gather the evidence. Matey tried twice to pull my fleece out of the tote to get to the lunch bag stuffed underneath! Amazing! Brash. Bold! And he succeeded in getting the fleece out! Then it was all over. We yelled, screamed and ran them off and they didn't come back.

(And no pic...)

About this time an older gentleman came on the beach and sat further down from us and "had mercy" on the poor starving female and flicked her crumbs every once in a while. It was nuts. I mean, she wasn't hungry, she was FAT! And she had her little honey-do "Matey" doing all the dirty work! Unbelieveable.

It made for an interesting day, maybe not as enjoyable, but something laughable at least. They were fat, lazy and obviously starved because it was end of the season.

And that was how we spent our last day at the beach!

1 comment:

Paul J. Miner said...

I would have loved to have seen this seagull battle. Unbelieveable how lazy these rats with wings are.