Thursday, June 19, 2008

A wonderful bird....

...is the pelican
His bill can hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak,
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican."

And, believe it or not, I just discovered convergence in this dang limerick. Seems the author is not Ogden Nash but one Dixon L. Merritt, who was once editor of the Nashville Tennessean, thus linking the other leg of my recent sojourn into the matter of pelicans. But first may I state that I was terribly pleased to get not one but two reasonably usable shots of these big birds down in Cajun country, starting with the photo that leads into this post. The plaster critter above is from the Atchafalaya Basin visitor center as are the more serious sculpts below, which better show the pouches under the birds' beaks which can hold as much as three gallons of water.

It may have been in Abbeville where the Sson and I found this antique (above), suggesting that sometimes ... a colorful bird is the pelican ... even when his famous beak was made from clipper blades. The dada-esque bird below is a representation of the mascot of Louisiana State University/Lafayette, which sat in the hallway outside the room housing Ragin'Bot.

As a further note about the amazing pelican -- there was quite the press kerfluffle in the UK when a pelican in a park reached over, scooped up a pigeon in its bill and swallowed the bird whole. As luck would have it, a freshly minted videographer was also on the scene; carnage here (do not open unless you have a strong stomach!)

13 comments:

worldphotos4 said...

I like the limerick. Hey, pelicans have to eat. I don't know why the Brits would get into an uproar.

Anonymous said...

"Kerfluffle" - I'm adding that to my vocabulary!

Abbeville, LA, is a delightful town. I visited it in 1994, so I hope it's recovering from hurricane Rita.

We have pelicans on the Left Coast, and I love to watch them skim the waters for food. Awkward on land, they are graceful in the skies!

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

steve -- Mom used to recite that verse to me when I was a kid. We spent a summer and fall living at the beach down in Jax, Florida, and I recall seeing the lines of pelicans flying north and south paralleling the shore line.

anon av -- isn't that a great word. Perfect for a Times crossword.

Terrell said...

I love the limerick, Granny! I may have to steal it for my next "Poem to Start the Week" Ive fallen down on posting poems lately. Sheila and I enjoyed watching and photographing the greedy birds as they chased the Research Vessel Ann along the coast at Brunswick GA on a Dept. of Natl. Resources field trip a little over a year ago. I feel a pelican post coming on here!

A.Decker said...

Whoa! That last shot reminds me of paintings I've seen of pterosaurs!
Very good photography.

Lucy said...

Oh that is not so cute! Wish I hadn't watched it at this time in the morning! Can't have been too good for the pelican judging by the struggle he was having to swallow it. I couldn't finish watching...

They are fantastic birds though, we just picked a shot of two of them flying across the sea to finish our qarrtsiluni edition.

I've some quite good shots of them from Australia, I might post them.

Granny J said...

terrell-- now that you remind me, I do recall seeing flocks of pelicans following the fishing trawlers out at sea ...

ad -- well, apparently they are an old order of birds...

lucy -- I apologize -- I should have posted a warning about the uTube site & I will do that next. Love to see your pictures. Anytime, BTW. Any subject.

Lucy said...

No worries, serves me right for morbid curiosity! The article was interesting though, about how their behaviour changes in captivity.

Anyway, there are some pictures at mine!

meggie said...

I dont like pigeons much, but....
Great photos.

Granny J said...

lucy -- those Aussie pelicans at your site look like their dressed up for a formal ball! Much more elegant than our plain pipe racks birds.

meggie -- I guess that that particular pelican looked around at all the freeloaders in the park & figured it was a lot easier than a flight for fish...

Warren said...

great piece and pics on pelicans! I liked the limerick and the video link was amazing -- that didn't look too pleasant for anyone involved...

Granny J said...

warren -- wasn't that video remarkable? It reminds one that fish eaters are, at heart, carnivores.

JuliaR said...

I loved watching the pelicans fly in formation, skimming tree tops and roof tops, when we were at Cocoa Beach last winter. I even got to pet one! Well, gingerly and ready to leap back, of course.

I would have sworn that was Ogden Nash.

 
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