A Brief Scoop on the Pod of Pelicans

Last week we drove with no particular destination in mind other than Not Here. We crossed the river and found ourselves on country roads with no one else for miles. It was good to get out of the city and into the quiet.P4114118

We always tell our readers to just drive somewhere, take your time, don’t worry what people think when you stop or slow down to gawk at the world around you. Taking our own advice is harder. It’s kind of hardwired into us all to instead hurry, don’t get in anyone’s way, and drive on the offense.

Without the pressure of other drivers tailgating us we took the opportunity to stop whenever we had the urge and take pictures. Here is a fellow I have dubbed Perky the Pig.P4114109

See? The smile on his muddy face would rival even that of Wilbur in contentment and smug hog happiness.

As we were driving we thought we were the only ones enjoying the Sunday afternoon, but how wrong we were! Off in the distance we began to realize there were a few white birds congregating in a field near a stream. At first we thought they were gulls, or maybe white geese of some kind. I started taking pictures, but my lens couldn’t zoom far enough to be able to get a decent shot. I stood up on the car and kept trying to see what they were, because by then we could tell that the congregation was better described as a multitude.    P4114040

It didn’t take long before we realized that they were some sort of sharp-beaked water fowl, and Aaron dashed across a field to sneak up on where they were resting in the water. Here is a video of what he found. Seriously, watch it.

They were American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) (called a “scoop” or “pod” or “brief” or “squadron”), likely resting on their way to Canada.

As Clarence, Anders, and I watched from the car, Aaron was enveloped in a cloud of 6+ foot wing spans. For a moment I thought they might be hostile, but those fears were banished when I remembered what great footage he’d be getting and knew it was worth any causalities.

When the squadron finally settled down from swooping and croaking and decided to continue their fishing, Aaron trudged back across the muddy field to our vehicle. We all felt like we had experienced something tremendous. We were the only people for miles, and because we decided to get out and explore we had an experience we will not soon forget.P4113909

Makes you wonder, what could you be missing? Your next drive could lead you to something even more stunning!

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