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curious encounters (4 images)

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.
gull and seal, Pender Island B.C.


The seal did not seem perturbed by the advancing gull, but calmly held its position…

gull and seal, Pender Island B.C.


…even when the gull came really close.

gull and seal, Pender Island B.C.


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.

gull and seal, Pender Island B.C.

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.


secrets of the oak

A glimpse in passing of a hidden home. All around us life reaches for the light, burrows in the earth, hunts or is hunted, creeps, flies, lives and dies — most of which we never see.

oak leaves and web, Pender Island B.C.

island spirit

Here on the island, there’s no bus service. People without cars rely on the kindness of others to help get them where they want to go.

DSCF1714Car stop with donated chair — looks comfy!

Throughout the island are designated “car stops”, where someone wanting a ride can wait until a passing motorist stops for them. No one waits for long.

The sign below the “car stop” sign reads:

Drivers don’t have to take the first in line.
You’re not obliged to accept a ride, that’s fine.
You accept a ride at your own risk,
But the ride is free, so consider it a gift.

Below that is a map of the island.

The system is based on trust, and people looking out for one another, and for me it symbolizes the spirit of this island.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol