‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Sunday, August 16, 2009

in which I am lofty

It is tourist season here on merry old Cape Cod. In tourist season, we have to adjust our normal routines a bit. We have to plan routes with no left turns. We have to get to the grocery store by 8am, unless we want to go with 5,000 of our closest friends.

As lovely as all those people may be, I would rather shop without them. Which is why I was at the grocery store at 8am yesterday.

I walked in, remembered the reusable bags in my trunk, and walked back out. On my way across the parking lot, I happened to notice two particularly white seagulls. With long legs. Flying across the perfectly blue sky.

"Hmm," I said, possibly aloud because my filters are skewed in the heat. "Those seagulls have awfully long legs and are exquisitely white. They are also flying toward the cove and not stopping at the dumpster. Is it possible they are not seagulls?"

I looked closer and realized that they were indeed not seagulls. They were egrets.* Two, effortlessly gliding egrets. I stopped and watched them, way overhead. And then something caught my eye and, behold, there were more! I watched several more approach, and then turned to watch them disappear into the morning sunshine to the east. It was like something out of a movie, these peaceful, elegant birds flying unnoticed overhead.

If it had been a film, the camera would start on the ground in the parking lot, and then move to a spot just above my head, looking down. It would zoom out, to show one person standing in the middle of a busy parking lot, looking up. It would pull away a little more, and show a blur of activity carrying on, not looking up. The camera would continue zooming out, until the person, still standing in the parking lot, became a small black speck, and the egrets came into view. And then it would just be egrets, with a background of busy, oblivious specks. It would be very quiet. And serene.

One of the specks would then walk to her car, get her reusable bags, and head back into the store with all the other specks.

And that speck would look like she was very happy she remembered her bags.

* I thought they were herons, and referred to them as herons all day until a friend corrected me. I am not an ornithologist, so I have a sorting system that is perhaps not as evolved as it could be. That sorting system is: all large, light colored birds are seagulls until proven otherwise. Seagulls with long legs are herons unless they are dark, in which case they are cormorants.

I try not to say anything out loud when we are at the zoo. The last time we were at the zoo, Sugarplum asked me what the little wormy things were in the plastic box next to the beetles. I told her that was probably their lunch. Which it was, if they are the kind of beetles that eat their own young. Ahem.


Zip n Tizzy said...

Hmmm... with a name like Sugarplum you better be careful not to mistake her for your lunch!

I'm finding tourists or not, I'm appreciating doing things more and more in the very early morning. Its a bit of a conflict with the nightowl in me (or perhaps the dark seagull) but I'm trying to become more disciplined because we do miss quite a bit when we sleep the morning away. (You know, till 7!)

Logical Libby said...

I love those moments of grace. I saw a redtailed hawk outside Home Depot the other day. I was happy for hours.

The Whispering Poppies said...

August is probably the only month when the tourists outnumber the seagulls on the Cape. I've even succumbed to stopping at green lights when I'm driving, as I've noticed no one else seems to be stopping at the red ones.

cIII said...

Ya know....about a week or so ago I was a Tourist in a Grocery Store.

I don't care for them either.

The tourists, not the Grocery Stores. I like Grocery Stores.

(I also saw an Egret while I was tourist-ing and thought it was a Heron. No shit. Tomato, Tomato.)

JAbel said...

Since I started work at 6:30 or 7:am in my North Truro days I always enjoyed the early morning in summer.Especially since we usually made it to bed by 2a.m.My fave early morning thing was the showers at Head of the Meadow beach before work some days.The coldest water I have ever showered under.It would almost wake the dead.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

I bet you don't egret having to go back to retrieve your bags.


Don't forget to tip your waitress.

TwoBusy said...

Which reminds me: d'ja see the article in the Globe about all the touristas getting up in arms about beach parking stickers on the Cape?

Which, granted, has nothing to do with egrets. Or seagulls, cormorants or hawks (birds without long legs that look kinda badass), for that matter.

Susan said...

Shortly after I moved here, I saw a goldfinch and thought someone's canary had escaped.

King of New York Hacks said...

I saw a New York City pigeon take a dump on my hood..so, we'll always have that I guess. lol

Pig Latin said...

We were a couple of those tourists last week! That was a lovely story about the egrets. Which I am now sure I get confused with herons all the time.