“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding.” – Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach

Last Friday I had a meeting near the ocean, bright and early. I always think it’s going to take me a while to get there, but it never does, and on this particular morning it was no different. This is a meeting with myself, to talk with the birds and to take it down a notch, so to speak.

Sometimes when I’m down by the sea I buy some bread and I feed it to the seagulls. They all descend at once, some watching and waiting cautiously from the rocks, others bold enough to snatch the bread just near my feet, where the opportunistic pigeons are getting in on the action. I always coo at them with my favorite sweet nothing of the day, rehearsal I’m sure for the day I’m a crazy old woman. A man in the parking lot of the nearby restaurant snaps my picture.

I take a deep breath and intently watch the gulls. I love how their yellow and black eyes contrast beautifully against the feathers on their head. Most, I assume, are California Gulls (Larus Californicus). In my limited research on gulls, however, I’m sure these gulls’ plumage changes, depending on the season, so I could be surrounded by a melting pot. I know I have seen Heermann’s Gulls (Larus Heermanni) on the shores of Monterey.

I remind myself to bring my camera next time, to take some pictures and put some names with some beaks.

Larus Heermanni

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