Taken facing away from the river, so as to capture the cat and shadows of the railing.
This particular day I was facing the other way, looking out over the water. Right away a couple of chickadees flitted into view, and perched in the bare branches of the bushes that grow up close to the railing. One was looking directly at me, at eye level and only an arm's length away, still chattering -- and before I could do any more than wish in vain that my camera was turned on, he had flown to me and landed on my head.
On my HEAD, people!!
Unsure of his intentions, and not wishing to have my head pecked at or pooped on, I carefully reached up and that was enough to make him fly off. I still don't know what he was after; maybe he wanted some hair or maybe I looked like a gigantic piece of bird seed. It was shocking and delightful all rolled into one.
Not long after that, I had a different kind encounter, this time at a strip mall, the kind where stores are accessed from outside rather than inside the building. I had bought a small bag of chips to ward off hunger pangs until I could finish my errands, and was walking along the sidewalk in front of the mall, headed for my car.
I'd already noticed a couple of seagulls flying around the parking lot, shrieking insanely, as gulls do, and I was feeling sorry for them having to scrounge food in that way and at the same time idly wondering how good their eyesight was. I'm not sure why, because it was very out of character for me to do something so poorly thought through, or to litter, but I decided to test their eyesight by dropping a chip beside the sidewalk, as if by accident, figuring they'd see it sooner or later and clean it up.
They saw it Sooner, and started shrieking even louder to alert all their buddies from the far side of the parking lot. They swooped down, far too close for comfort, and looked at me with their beady little eyes. I started walking faster, but I thought I'd better drop some more chips so they would stop following me and eat instead.
All that did was attract more gulls, so I dropped some more chips. By then I was almost to my car, and walking very fast for an old girl. I swear those gulls were still looking at me as I sat in my car, sneaking the three chips that were left in the bag (it was small, remember? really small). I tried to be completely invisible, not only to make the birds go away, but in case anyone was watching my stupidity.
Not my brightest idea, and not my finest moment. Let's call this encounter shocking and educational.
I certainly know for sure now that gulls have formidable eyesight.
The head honcho of the seagulls was this close to me, but looked a lot less friendly and a lot more focused. (Source: Pixabay)
Have you had any close enounters of the wild animal kind lately?
And did you ever see the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which I