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I believe one could be accurately classified as adequately tolerant if one is the sort that will allow onslaughts of slimy, smelly cadavers to be tossed onto one’s head in a great, heaving torrent from the heavens above.

Well, let me back up a bit.

It began as a glorious morn. The sunrise pinching the sky, rosy light playing on the edges of perfect little waves. Seagulls sailed above, pelicans lumbered contentedly along the swell. It was a fine and chipper morn, indeed. 

Then, I became possessed with the idea that we had to go romping to the inlet to get some pelican photos. This struck me as a most fabulous plot. So, after the usual tottling about with errands, we were soon humming along on our way to Sebastian Inlet. And how beautiful it was, smiling away, water scintillating, dinosaur-headed wood storks sauntering up to us like teenagers with their wings jammed in their pockets, hoping that we may be crawling with fish heads to bestow unto their clanking bills. A nice breeze tussled through the palms, and I noticed a gopher tortoise shuffle by, munching on some fresh, sun-baked grass. It was a fine day, indeed, but no sight of pelicans.

I meandered over to the rocks that separate the tidal pool from the channel rushing into the sea. Scrabbling onto the great rocks, camera almost colliding with shattering death as it oscillated back and forth from my neck like a pendulum (I always forget it will do this…), I became conscious of a permeating dead-fish odour. Promising. I clambered along, just below where the fishermen greatly enjoy cutting fish, and poised on the rocks were my lovely brown pelicans, blue-eyes smiling away at me. About 12 of them were clustered there, males, females, and juveniles. I nestled within inches, all crumpled up, and in position. The birds were a bit nervous, but overall, accepting of the giant, black eye clicking in their faces.

Was entering dream-camera-pelican-loving land, delightedly, when suddenly I felt something very small, very wet, collide with my head, and the eyes of a nearby pelican glazed over and seemed to be debating whether to lunge forth and swallow my head. He thought better of this, however. A sea of giggling also fell down from above. I began to gaze up, when another smelly little wet thing slapped me on the shoulder and then spilled onto a rock. I grabbed at it. It was the corpse of a little shrimp. Poor shrimp. I held it out to the pelican. Suddenly, my whole hand was inside pouch of pelican. This was an odd experience. I had always wondered what it felt like in there….rather rubbery…hand somehow made it back to freedom. Hmm…not slimy either. Shrimp was gone. Pelican looked at me with tilted head and backed away slightly. (This is one weird human, mates…) Huge guffaws of laughter spilled down from above. I looked up, only to be met with a sea of dead corpses sailing down, and squabbling pelicans all flopping about frantically to seize the things right off of me. It was fabulous.

“She’s taking photos!” the wee lads chimed from the heavens.

Yes, that’s generally what I do…don’t know why…look at all one must endure…

Harrowing world, photography.

I grabbed some stray corpses and tossed them to my birdly companions. The lads seemed to like this. Nutter crawling around snapping photos on the white-splotched, scale-glazed, slightly blood-stained, fetid rocks doesn’t mind having dead-bodies thrown right onto her head in a torrent at all, and even sticks her hand into pelican pouches- we like this one! Oh bother….

And following that adventure, I endured chattering youths following me about like those cheeping baby chicks that run along behind the harassed hen everywhere she flees. Ended up drenched, of course, rushing after phantom manatees that rush by like champion swimmers, and vanish, then being splashed by grinning dolphins. Almost bitten by a wee crab. Yes, he wanted to bite me, love bite I imagine. A wave nearly took me under as I was snapping away….more laughter from behind, above on the jetty, and all around. I guess I’m an ambulating sack of amusement.


No better life than this. And to end it all, the sunset was glorious.


Autumn Jade