Monday, August 29, 2011

Snubbed by gulls

We arrived at Sliammon beach close to low tide, and walked out, almost to the edge. At first glance, it seems barren; stony, with a few rocks, a scattered dusting of seaweed; a flat, empty expanse under a big sky.

Looking northwest.

At closer range, though, we saw that most of the larger stones hold tiny barnacles. Underneath them, periwinkle snails and purple crabs wait out the dry hours. I found a few limpets.

A forward-leaning limpet, with an eroded peak.

Along the sides of a creek bed cutting down into the intertidal zone, where salt water mixes with fresh to lower the salinity, healthy clumps of pickleweed (Salicornia) are growing, bright splashes of green in the stony landscape.

Succulent stems of salicornia make a good salad vegetable. (Recipe)

Far out at the water's edge, a flock of gulls dozed and preened lazily. I had a pocketful of bread for them; not the best diet, but as an occasional treat, it's good and our gulls love it. I walked out towards the flock, but they moved away long before I got there, so I stood, tossing bits of bread into the air.

On the White Rock beach, this would have been enough to get me mobbed by the whole shrieking flock, circling and swooping to grab the bread before it hit the ground. Not here. One gull looked in my direction for a moment, then flew away. I walked a few steps closer, and the whole flock lifted off and moved to the next section of beach. I gave up.

Truly wild gulls, not fond of humans.

A Skywatch post.


  1. Maybe too much good stuff to eat from the sea to be hungry. Beautiful shot of the gulls lifting from the rocks. - Margy

  2. The top picture looks so desolate! Beautiful, though!

  3. This made me laugh. White Rock is my home town. I'm sure the gulls there are taught by their parents that humans are a primary food source.
    Beautiful photos of your beach visit up-coast. I've never seen a close-up of a limpet before.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. Beautiful photos of this deserted beach and all the small bits of beauty to be found there.

  5. Thanks, all!

    Kay, I'll have to post more limpets, even closer. They're seriously cute!

  6. LOVE the design of your first pic as well as the colors!

  7. Very good and nice photos.


  8. Fun post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  9. I'm here from Powell River Books. I love the beautiful and interesting things which can be found everywhere in the world. Thanks for showing some which you found!


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