I love this photo of two pelicans that I put on my Facebook banner. I took the photo a year ago at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Here pelicans skim the surface of the Pacific Ocean, just above the waves, looking for food in the water below them.
You can see why they say birds are the remaining descendants of the dinosaurs. These guys look so much like the drawings of pterodactyl. Of course even those drawings are fanciful, since all we can go by are fossils. But look at these birds and how they glide just over the waves and surface of the ocean.
I usually don’t think of pelicans as beautiful birds, but this photo (and others I took that day) show the detail of their wing feathers. And I noticed that at the end of each wing are five distinct feathers — like fingers on the end of a hand.
I’m working on a (musical) suite whose working title is Flight. In this work, each movement has a riddle that goes along with it. Here are two of those riddles.
- What flies through the air but never arrives?
- The heron flies through the sky — what trace does it leave?
I know of several thoughtful and meditative answers for each riddle.