Saturday, February 4, 2012


          In the 60s, my dad had a poster hanging in his studio: a lovely graphic-arts rendering of a pelican, with Henry Gibson's poem about their looming extinction:

          "It's not the same without pelicans
           You know?
           I mean, dinosaurs...
          Well, they're too big to miss...
          And besides, it was their own fault.
          But we all grew up with pelicans!
          I hope the ducks hold out."

          I've mentioned before how I grew up during the time when persistent levels of DDT in the environment caused shell-thinning in the eggs of many birds including the Brown Pelican, pushing them to the edge of extinction, and how I thought I would never see some of these birds when I grew up.
          Well, the ducks have held out, and the pelicans are also doing pretty well. Sometimes we do make a difference for the good. I was absurdly, big-foolish-grinningly, shooting-12-bazillion-photographs happy to see Brown Pelicans out in force on a recent trip to Florida.
          I won't share all 12 bazillion of the photos I took, but I'll leave you with a couple—well, technically three—because it really wouldn't be the same without pelicans.

These photos are © Nancy Banks

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