I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

Friday letters – the nature edition


Dear pelicans, Where were you all going last Saturday morning when we saw you as we were driving along the coast to the beach?  Was there some kind of pelican convention going on somewhere?  Your annual general meeting perhaps, or a Book Club?  It’s quite common to see one or two of you flying up, or down, the coastline, near the water, but there were quite large numbers of you heading north, following the coast road.  Your numbers were increased by singles catching up and joining in.  If you have time to drop me a line, I’d be very interested to know.

Dear beaches,  We’ve noticed that the shape of some of you has changed slightly and that there are pebbles where previously there were none – which was quite perplexing.  You used to slope gently from the bottom of the cliff, or grassy areas, and now there is a definite drop.  Your golden sands would stretch down to the ocean with nothing more than the odd small shell dotted about to break up the sandy surface.  At first we were quite disconcerted, and worried about the ease of sand castle building now that there were pebbles everywhere and wondered what on earth had happened. After some internet research I have discovered that every few years sand is dredged from the bottom of a lagoon and placed on the beach.  I understand that this serves two purposes – one to keep the lagoon healthy and the other is to help prevent erosion of the coastline.  Now, I think it would be a very good idea to have a notice displayed somewhere at the entrance to the beach explaining this so that unsuspecting people like ourselves are not confused by the changes and made to doubt our own memories.

Dear chocolate, Just as we thought we were safe because the Easter chocolate was finished, the unpacking of one of the last boxes of our belongings uncovered a box of Cadbury’s goodies that we had been given at Christmas to bring with us.  It was quite a treat to find you, actually, and I will look forward to a little taste of home for the next few days.

Dear sparrow that visited the garden yesterday evening,  I’m a bit disappointed that your name has turned out to be White-Crowned Sparrow.  Your crown is definitely more of a zebra-stripe cap  than plain white.  I sometimes wonder how birds’ names are decided upon.

Dear hummingbirds, I’m very happy to see one or two of you visiting the garden, and trying out my feeder.  The feeder isn’t in the ideal position, but it’s the best I can do at the moment.  I think I’ve seen two different varieties of you, but you zip in and out quite quickly, so I’ve not really been able to have a good look.  I’ve tried to take photos, but most of them have just been a bit of a blur, however, yesterday, I managed to get one in which I can actually make out your shimmering body and one of your wings, and I think you might be a Costa’s hummingbird.  The challenge is on now to get a good, clear photo.

Have a good Friday everyone.


16 thoughts on “Friday letters – the nature edition

  1. How incredible to have humming birds in the garden! 🙂 🙂 Have a superb weekend, Elaine!

  2. I’m impressed with the hummingbirds too – they are wonderful to watch.

  3. Nice to have different visitors, Elaine. And I agree with you about the sign.
    And by the way, that sparrow is definitely not just white crowned!

  4. Exciting to have hummingbirds calling in, Elaine. As for the pelicans, I think you need to find out what’s going on, because it may be something interesting you can share with us. Perhaps the pelicans know where there is good cake and coffee!

  5. Good luck with the humming bird photo – I spent about an hour in a park once in Sacramento to no avail!!

    as for the pelicans, were they white ones? If so they were probably heading to your northern deserts for the breeding season.

  6. I see you have already got the bird feeder out! Hummingbirds, huh, I am so totally not jealous.

  7. Insider tip on hummingbirds (learned from a documentary): They usually repeat their feeding spots every 15 to 20 min. That gives you a window for when to be prepared!

    I had a different experience with found chocolate… Belgian chocolate no less. It was crusty & dusty and went in the trash. I’m glad yours worked out well!

  8. Although the pelicans and hummingbirds are undoubtedly exotic and must be a wonderful treat for the peepers, I rather like your little zebra-striped sparrow. I’m glad you discovered the mystery of the beach, and I think a proper letter to the appropriate authority enclosing your noticeboard suggestion would be an excellent idea.

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