Cabins are shut up for the season, the lake now empty of swimmers and canoes. Distant laughter and barbecue aromas no longer drift across the water. The dragonflies have disappeared too, and taken the summer with them, leaving behind cool nights, misty mornings, and a new generation sleeping just beneath the surface.
I’m always looking for minimalist compositions, which can be a challenge in an exuberantly messy rain forest environment. Where I live there are few open fields, long clean stretches of sandy beach, and featureless horizons. I love foggy days, when busy surroundings are obscured and colours are toned down, but fog doesn’t come around very often. Macro can work, because it’s fairly easy to isolate your subject by blurring the background. But for this image, the ocean provided a blank canvas upon which some ribbons of kelp gracefully arranged themselves.
Yesterday I saw the funniest interaction between a seal and a seagull. The whole sequence happened twice in the space of the few minutes I was there. These photos are from the second go-round, because the first time I was so surprised I didn’t think to take pictures.
The gull was swimming around rather aimlessly, but when the seal popped up to the surface, the gull headed straight toward it.
The seal did not seem perturbed by the advancing gull, but calmly held its position…
…even when the gull came really close.
The gull seemed to peck the seal on the nose. I thought at the time that it was just pestering the seal. It was only later when I loaded the photos on my computer that I saw the seal had had a small fish sticking out of its mouth, and the gull had snatched it.
Now I am very curious. Was that seal too dumb to evade a cheeky gull intent on stealing its meal, not just once but twice in a row? Why would the seal not eat the fish as soon as it had caught it, or at least dive to save it?
Or were the seal and gull playing some kind of animal version of “Go Fish”??
If anyone has ever seen something like this before, I would love to hear about it. I’ve read about how different species can interact in surprising ways (such as humpback whales saving a seal from a pack of orcas), but it was certainly fun to see this little drama unfold right before my eyes.