Thursday, April 15, 2010


Continuing in the pedestrian vein, I took a walk yesterday. And what did I see?? Lots of yellow: daffodils, forsythia and dandelions. It was busy along Memorial Boulevard, on that stretch along First Beach. Cars and bikes were whizzing past (fast) in both directions — everyone else's speed is so apparent when you're walking. Oh, and gulls. Ever since that big bout of rain and disastrous flooding, during which the reservoir overflowed its banks a few weeks back, I've noticed an inordinate number of gulls ... not on the beach, where they always are, but strutting along that low strip of grass between the "moat" (outside the reservoir) and the road. Whenever I've noticed, I've been in or on one of those cars or bikes whizzing past, and it's not a great place to stop a car or even a bike for a closer look at anything, but I kept trying to remind myself to walk down and see what the gulls were doing. Or what they were eating, as that's usually what gulls are doing, aside from standing and watching and doing nothing in particular.

So, I finally remembered ... to go down and check out the gulls. And here's my theory, based upon what I saw (which is that they're eating worms, like all practical birds in springtime): the flooding brought the worms to the surface. It happens. Worm holes were flooded, just like basements, right?? That's not rocket science, or even geological science, or even biological science. On top of that, I think these are young gulls. They look like young gulls, anyway, unless they're simply gulls of a different species. And maybe baby gulls (like all stereotypical baby birds) like worms. Maybe worms are easy prey. Much easier than digging for clams, let alone opening clams, with immature beaks. Or diving for fish when one has just learned how to fly. Hardly a critical question, I realize, but you never know what you might see or think about on a springtime walk in Newport, or anywhere for that matter. Aside from yellow, aside from dandelions, there's always something. And with that (being not much of anything) in mind, I walked back up Old Beach Road toward home ...

One more thing just sprang (sprung?) to mind: The Newport Flower Show is right around the corner. Click highlighted type if you're interested. And most gulls have yellow beaks (with a black spot or stripe) ... have you noticed that??