Monday, June 29, 2009

Pelican's Do NOT Like Bread

Gosh. If I could get DH to get his priorities in order... The "new" camera still has yet to be downloaded on the computer. I will ask him to show me how to do it - all I need to do is watch him do it, and take notes, and then I can do it myself. None of this waiting and waiting and waiting. And, nagging and nagging and nagging. All I can surmise is that he truly likes to hear me nag no matter how shrill my voice may be. If it bothered him - obviously, it does not - then the photos would be on the computer by now. But, nooooo. Golf. He is playing golf today. In his defense he did have to work yesterday - but not until two o'clock in the afternoon. [Yes. Of course I asked him to do it - again yesterday!]

On our last day of going into ports, be
fore getting off the cruise ship in Instanbul, we were in Mykonos [Greece]. We went on the tour of Mykonos that morning - it was like a five hour tour - and it was wonderful! [More on that when the photos are finally - FINALLY - downloaded, provided I can learn how to get them to post here. Far too many interesting things to share not to get them on the blog. Perhaps I should practice with the Singapore pictures. I never got them on here because I cannot figure out how to get to the file. Don't ask. Just a very technically-challenged middle-aged blonde woman. That should explain the "why."] Anyway. After the five hour tour, we were left on our own to explore and meander - down maze-like, very, very narrow passage ways. The design of this maze was not by coincidence. It has to do with the strong winds that Mykonos gets and so this was how this little area of the island protected itself from them - by doing a maze of buildings and alley ways and walk ways. Interesting. You can get lost in minutes. Doesn't even take that long, actually. I'm sure you'd get used to it if you lived there, but for a stranger - a tourist - forget it. They should have passed out maps on the tour bus - they did not. No matter.

So, we're doing our walking an
d meandering - we did a lot of that - both - and we come upon this pelican. Everyone has their camera out and is snapping shots of him [her? how do you tell?]. Naturally, I was a part of that "everyone" crowd - but I had the "new" camera. There is a crowd around Mr. Pelican - and all of the sudden one of the shop owners yells out, "Be careful - sometimes he pecks." Okay. Thanks for the warning. That is all it took to get all of us tourists to clear a path for Mr. Pelican so he could continue on his journey - and he waddled away from us and walked into a shop like he owned the place.

DH and I continued our afternoon tour through the maze and about the time we decided that we had had enough for the day happened upon yet another cafe [surprise, right?!]. We're sitting - enjoying beverages - Mythos for DH and "votka" and soda for me - and guess who waddles up RIGHT NEXT TO ME? Mr. Pelican. We had food on our table - Tzatziki - and bread. [Really, I could not get enough of the Taztziki, it IS that good.] Mr. Pelican opens up his long billed, hooked-beak mouth as if to say, "I'd like some of whatever you're having." So I broke up a piece of bread and aimed for his mouth. Missed. Broke off another - and got much more brave - placed it in his open mouth and quickly pulled my fingers back before he could clamp that long beak back together. Have no idea how much force a beak like that has - and have no intentions of ever finding out. Oh - and if you've never seen the beak of a pelican up close - there is a severe hook at the end which looks like it could do some damage to skin if it wanted to. Again, I will never have the opportunity to find out. [The bottom of a pelican's beak isn't really a beak - but loose, fleshy, skin which expands and contracts - depending on the amount of food that he / she is trying to swallow - whole.]

So, Mr. Pelican sat with us for a time - probably a good fifteen minutes or so - and preened himself. I still have feathers in the burlap bag that I carried through Greece and Turkey, thanks to Mr. Pelican [memories]. A couple tables over from us was a large group of tourists and they were all eating either a very late lunch or a very early dinner - full plates of food were being brought out - many of them were fish. One of those sitting there dining said, "He probably wants fish, not bread." Then give him some of yours - I was there for the Tzatziki - not fish. Several people from that large table then came over next to us [Mr. Pelican didn't leave my side - awww - how sweet is that?] and tried to feed Mr. Pelican some of their fish. Mr. Pelican wanted nothing to do with it.

Finally Mr. Pelican decided he was fed up with the whole lot of us and he went around me, down to the front of the entrance of this outdoor cafe and waddled up the entire aisle separating the two sides of tables and str
aight into the kitchen. He, obviously, has been doing this for sometime and was no stranger to the kitchen. A short time afterward, one of the cooks came out holding a whole, raw [gutted] fish in his hand - holding it up and out at arm's length. Mr. Pelican was practically running after him. The cook went over to the open area - right next to us - but where everyone could see and held the fish up - and waited. He was waiting for everyone to get their camera's out so that we could get pictures of the pelican getting his early dinner. It was quite comical - watching this huge pelican race after the cook to get his fish. And, of course, I didn't snap the picture quite as fast as I should have - to get the fish being dropped - but Mr. Pelican got what he was looking for. We all clapped, the cook took a little bow and went back to the kitchen:

Mr. Pelican came back over and plopped down next to our table as if he knew there was an animal lover in the crowd and that he would be safe, sunning himself next to me, regardless of the fact that we had nothing for him - by that time the Tzatziki was gone - and since we already knew he wasn't going to eat bread...


  1. haha, that's great. i love pelicans. they're such massive, goofy birds.

  2. What a nice story

  3. I am amazed by the size of this bird. Mr. Pelican is huge, and at first I did not even believe that he was real. I have never seen any pelican that is the size of my dinner table, and with such a curiousness and personality. I never knew that pelicans will not eat bread, but I suspect that the same "Snapple Fact" status applies the idea of whether pineapples grow on trees or on a bush(a bush I recently discovered).

  4. You are not the only one who has never seen a pelican that is the size of a table, PC! Don't think for a few minutes of him sitting right next to me that I wasn't a bit nervous...


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