March 22, 2013
Blue Plate Special.
Photo blog disclaimer!
The following photos are lousy quality.
They ain’t nuttin’ compared to my recent pix of a a young gull attempting to swallow a large flounder, or these pix from 2011 of a seal devouring a cephalopod.
Nonetheless, I’m posting them for you, in all their blurriness.
Because, as you can see from this prior post, I’m a digestion junkie. I’m absolutely spellbound watching creatures eat their lunch.
Which, most of the time, consists of other creatures.
I’m going to bet that most people who read this blog do not live somewhere they see this sort of thing everyday. Therefore, just as I’ll always appreciate a blurry photo of metropolis wildlife like Donald Trump’s toupee, maybe urbanites will get a kick out of this.
All right folks, yes-sirree! It’s time to play another round of, “Name that Lunch!”:
Notice how the entrée changed color.
Need one more clue?
In the second photo: not only does the photo suck, but so does the lens subject.
The gull is eating a juvenile Pacific Red Octopus.
Captivating as it was to observe, this made me sad. I love octopi. Not to eat: to greatly admire, as fantastic, smart, delightful creatures.
But in this world, we’re all up for being on the menu. I witness this nearly every day, while I’m composing, and taking care of publishing stuff, and brushing out Bella’s long thick fur, and talking to someone on the phone, and… oh… wait! Look! Geez… [crunch]… [slurp]…
It’s far less heart-wrenching to watch the Canada geese.
Truth be told, my digestion fetishes go in both directions, like digestion itself.
Critters in, critters out.
For instance, walking around the rocks here I often spot small clumps of tiny, beautiful little shells. I always wondered what they were, and how they got there. Each smaller than my fingernail, they blend perfectly in the granite nooks, and would be easy to miss unless you were really looking for them.
One day, I glanced up from my desk at a lone gull on the rock in front of me, just in time to witness him…
Kind of like a cat with a furball.
Gross as it sounds, I was riveted.
It was fascinating.
So much so, that I failed to grab my camera. Never before has a girl been so compelled by the reverse-digestion of a bird.
Not too long after the gull flew off (maybe to find some more food and begin this charming process all over again), I walked out to the spot and shot these photos of the fresh evidence.
Not one, but two clumps. A bonanza.
I am the Annie Leibovitz of bird puke.
Like many birds, mama gulls regurgitate food for their chicks. But the adults– quite the greedy scavengers– have to get rid of the stuff they scarf up that’s indigestible, and occasionally, just like us, it exits from the front rather than the rear.
It’s likely that the gull’s lunch of a fish, a crab, or a sea star, had consumed these tiny clam-like beings for its lunch (not realizing that this would be the last supper). Or maybe the gull just scooped up a quick snack of some kelp and seawater, and ended up swallowing lots of teeny tiny bivalve molluscs.
One way or another, out they go.
Gull forensics. My next profession!
If there’s every a “CSI: Intertidal,” I demand to be the composer on the gig.
Call my agent!