The beach was bare…sometimes that’s not so good.
On Fri. May 29th I rode my bike down to Magnolia Blvd beach and incredibly, no cones, no oystercatchers. Cones, down again? Missing oystercatchers? See:https://leebythesea.me/2015/05/27/the-fragile-and-the-furious/
So I walked near the underside of the boardwalk checking the posts of the emergency lane and the attendant waste receptacles. Zip. I checked the Lifeguard shack. Nada
I biked west keeping an eye out and at Lindell Blvd beach I spotted cones and adult oystercatchers. I was told these were only nesting there for a day or two. Wow! We have two nestings this year.
I took some photos of this second family and caught the changing of the guard on the nest and spotted what looks like two eggs to me.
Then a gent who was on the boardwalk told me that the two “missing” Magnolia chicks and their mom and pop were now enjoying the shade of the chair atop the lifeguard mound over that way. I asked, “Are you sure, I don’t think the chicks could climb that mound.” He said, “Yes, I am and yes they did.” I’d love to have seen those downy tykes climb “Everest.”
So back I went and sure enough there they were ensconced under the chair. I suspect they must have suppressed a giggle or a even a snicker as I walked past them searching surf and sand, jetty and boardwalk for them while they had a good view of my futile efforts. But, in truth, I may have encountered a curvy distraction or two.
I thought the lifeguards might encounter the family when they mounted the chair the next day at nine. I wondered if there’d be a repeat beak-attack, as happened in my last blog post, when they disturbed them. I thought it might be a good photo op.
I kept watch for the other chick, thinking I’d spot some evidence of an “event.” And as I walked that huge expanse of sandy beach, there, right at my feet I came upon it…dead in the sand. I picked it up and found it still soft and warm. It was not torn, there was no outward damage from beak or talons. But I didn’t find it in a vehicle track either.
I can only surmise that in the morning fog a gull was able to snatch it from the group. Piercing red beaks must have forced him to drop it. But his damage did manage to kill the little guy.
I took it to the area beneath the boardwalk overhang and buried it there with a driftwood marker.
Such is life in the “wild.” Some survive some don’t make the cut. I saw the remaining chick and the mom and pop, very alert. I was far way from them but the mom rushed me in apparent aggression. I gave them a wide berth and let them be. The loss of the little guy affected me.
I walked to the surf, eternity’s portal, where life on Earth began. I would take it all in, I would let it heal me. I walked back to life, action, camera:
A young lifeguard, Quinn, was setting up for the day on the chair the oystercatchers had used for shelter just the night before.
Lifeguards launched a dinghy manned by John into the surf.
A beachcomber, Tony, with his metal detector, trekked past an oil artist set up by the jetty.
The artist, Bill, was my photo subject years earlier and now was painting the jetty and splashing surf. The jetty’s edge on his canvas continued right into the sea.
Yes, I was at the end of a photographers rainbow. So much acton, so much life. All such a welcome sight for me and my lens.
Then yet one more golden doubloon in this rainbow’s pot…a pregnant bride photo-shoot.
Yes, one photog shooting a pregnant bride in the background with me shooting the artist in the fore. All in a warm mysterious mist.
Life, imaged with oils on canvas in incredible beauty. And backdropped by a soon-to-be mom draped in white and embraced by the warm morning fog.
Life, so fragile, so tenuous…
See also my sister blog: https://wherethesundontshine.net