Saturday, March 26, 2011

An Adventure in Flight

We're on our bikes in the parking lot of the Malaquite Visitors' Center on Padre Island National Seashore.

I see about eight cars and 5,000 seagulls. Well, maybe not 5,000, but so many they form a massive ground colony and they all face south, into the wind.

Allen skirts this cacophony of screams, squeals and squawks; I pedal toward it; it's like a tracking beam drawing me in. I'm 10 feet away. Five feet. Three feet. Then, silence. And in milliseconds, WOOSH. The gulls take flight.

And then they do a startling thing.

Instead of flying away, heading out to sea, where it's safe from me, this wave of gulls transforms into a cyclone, swirling around me, rising barely a foot above my head (well, maybe six). Quietly, they swirl round and round, like a protective escort as I pedal away. But they don't let me go. They stay right with me, swirling, swirling, creating an airborne whirlpool.

I want to fly with them.

Then I look down. Splat. And I see another. Splat. Bird bombs. I duck. And they soon tired of this game and fly away, back to their Tarmac roost, to face south again. And I pedal back home.

1 comment:

Tom Gardner said...

Good thing cows don't fly!