Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Luck of the Seagull

The Culprit - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

Lunch Frenzy - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

Wharf Scene - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

A Gull's Position - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

Outside the Fish Market - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

Bike Dock - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

Back at the Dock - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

We visited Portland the other day, since I had to deliver some new photos to a gallery there. Afterwards, we had a lovely lunch at DiMillo's floating restaurant, housed on a
huge ship that was originally a car ferry running between New Castel, Delaware and Pennsville, New Jersey. We
gazed at the boats in the harbor while enjoying delicious lobster club-sandwiches.

Afterwards, we decided to explore the wharf area adjacent to Congress Street. We turned a corner just a few blocks past the restaurant and came into a narrow thoroughfare that bordered the fish market area. We were fascinated by the trappings of an industry that has lasted since America began and brave new towns sprang up all over the Northeast. Old docks and walkways, colorful old buildings that bear the markings of age and exposure to coastal Maine weather: crusty and salty with worn, rusted, scarred and tattered surfaces in a variety of old materials. It was an interesting scene, and I was excited to be surrounded by vintage architecture and time-etched surfaces.

It was mid-afternoon on the first steamy day of a May hot spell, and a couple of lobster boats were just coming in with their catch. All around, the seagulls were in an uproar. Their excited cries nearly drowned out the steady, deep hum of the diesel engines. I've never seen so many swarming, screeching, flapping, swooping, fluttering, and diving creatures anywhere. The mayhem was not without a dimension of aggressive behavior, as they competed for morsels of available fish.

I was raptly photographing those graceful white birds, whose wings by the hundreds, fanned the warm, salty air. I stood at what I thought was safe distance. After shooting about 30 images, I had cocked my head to look through my camera at a new angle. Suddenly a shadow passed over my head. I heard the approach of fluttering wings and felt a rush of wind, then the sensation of cool liquid oozing into my left ear. He had let one go! And by that I don't mean a clam shell or a morsel of lobster meat. He had POOPED on me! Not ON but directly IN to my left ear!

Had it hit the outside of my ear, the fleshy part called the "pinna," I could have dealt with it better. But the idea of that oozy detritus sliding towards my ear canal, did NOT make my day.

On the way back to the car, I joked with a couple of people we met along the dock about my surprise gift from a seagull. Apparently they were fishermen, because they showed no great surprise at the event and even chuckled at my consternation. Two of them went so far as to say "When a seagull _ _ _ _ s in your ear, it's means good luck!"

"Yeah, sure," I muttered under my breath. "Maybe with an albatross...."

I was immensely grateful for the hand wipes we had in the car, and I cleaned my ear the best I could. So far I've suffered no ill effects.
I'm sure I'll survive, but I could have done without that added sensory dimension to my harbor experience.

The regal bird you see in the top photo may have been the culprit. One moment I was fixated on his dignified stance on the wood piling, and the next thing I knew, he'd given me more than a photo op. I'm grateful that it happened after lunch!

NOTE: For my last couple of posts, it seems as if unwanted code has been insinuating itself into my text. Has anyone else been having that problem with Blogger this week or last?

All images and text c Lynda Lehmann. If you would like to view more of my art or make a purchase, please visit Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography, where my other sites are listed, as well.


  1. you've had quite the adventure my dear friend. i don't think i would have liked that present either. but, you do have great photos. i wish mine would come out that clear. have a great night.

  2. Looks and sounds like a charming place to visit. Only I'll remember to wear a helmet and ear muffs.

  3. That's seagulls ... happened to me a few times too, and I know some very comical stories as well ... Ahh .. the dangers of being a photographer! :-) Shots are great though! :-)

  4. While taking a group of school children through a zoo a seagull left a gift in my hair - followed shortly by a kid(goat) who climbed in my lap and also left a gift - the children thought it most hilarious while I frantically extricated it from my hair and slacks. Ah well...the joys of being in the animal always superb photos Lynda.

  5. First, your photos are wonderful. I have had that happen to me a few times and even though I don't believe in those "things" I have to admit when it happened to me, the good luck flowed thereafter.

  6. gross is that??? You totally have my sympathies! Ew!

  7. Wow! what a harbor experience: lunch at a floating restaurant,vintage architecture, boats with their catch of fish, seagulls, and..the unpleasant hit in the ear!
    Thanks for sharing the experience and the great photos.

  8. Oh my goodness how does one beat that experience, the photos are lovely my first visit I shall be back.

    Dorothy from grammology

  9. @ Naquillity - I'm getting pretty clear shots with my SONY Alpha 350, even without the benefit of a tripod. Although I've no doubt, they would have had even better clarity WITH one!

    @ nothingprofound - You could wear both, and the right gull swooping over your head at the right moment, could find another unprotected orifice. Heaven forbid!

  10. @ Anne - At least I didn't fall into the water with all those gulls fighting over fish and lobster morsels. That might have been worse...

    I agree, being a photographer sometimes carries risks, depending on the setting, lol....

    @ JANICE - Two in one day and having school children to take care of while you tried to clean up! Double jeopardy. I guess we all have tales of unanticipated gifts from the animal kingdom, that we would rather have done without.

    @ POETIC SHUTTERBUG - I'm still waiting for the good luck. Yesterday we did a lot of Home Depot shopping for supplies for finishing our basement, then went to grab lunch. I was almost finished with my Greek salad with chicken, when I noticed the meat was pink! Barely cooked, at all--almost raw, in fact. Hope I luck out on this one!

  11. @ LANA - "EWWWW!!!" is exaclty what I kept saying, over and over. I was thoroughly grossed out.

    Did I tell you how much I love that painting of yours where a large bird (maybe a crane or heron) is swooping above the water in a wooded marsh scene? It gives me shivers, it's so beautiful--brings out the primordial feeling and the mystery of that kind of setting.

  12. @ DUTA - I'm remembering the last post of yours that I read. I guess we all have some "strange" days when unexpected things happen. Although this one was overall, pretty good.

    @ DOROTHY - Thanks very much. Please do visit again, and I'll be over to "grammology to see you." :)

  13. Oh no! I was just going to miss these amazing shots, thanks to friedeggs that holds a link to these wonders.

    Lynda, I really appreciate all the efforts you did to give us an opportunity to see these places and amazing birds while we are just sitting in front of our PC's.

    Best wishes

  14. Eyewitness - I sit in front of the PC way too much of the time, too. But when I'm out in nature, I always get excited and HAVE to share it.

    I'm so happy to hear that you have enjoyed some of my shots! Sharing beauty is a good thing, and we also share that as a common interest.

  15. Lynda, always beware of gulls bearing gifts!! Love the photos - I can almost smell the salt air; also the red against gray with the gulls in front of the old fish market building is quite striking. Hope to see more of your work soon!

  16. Lesly - The whole experience was just a tad TOO salty, if you know what I mean!

    You would have loved the textural variety in that wharf area--it was SO rich!

    Looking forward to my next visit to YOUR beautiful blog!

  17. Oh, Linda, I read this post and saw that you'd been in Portland. I was just about to write and ask why you hadn't visited me, when I realized it was the Other Portland. Sorry about the gull poop, but I've also heard it's good luck.

    Your photos are so wonderful. I never tire of looking at them. You share all this beauty with us and we're grateful.

  18. @ Melody - Aw, thank you for your kind words. I LOVE beauty and I love to share it. So your words mean a lot to me. :) :)

    Well, there's a lot of distance between us, but if you ever come this way or I come west, we will meet up!


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