The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Low Tides and Seagull Skies

Sunday, March 15th, 2009 in Cornwall
Low Tides and Seagull Skies

The tide was going out rather quickly. Inside the St. Ives harbor, little boats that had bobbed only a few moments earlier had been transformed into statues as the water drained from beneath their keels leaving them stranded on wet sand. Seagulls glided lazily overhead, slowly following the water as it receeded from the harbor.

That afternoon, Phil and I walked along the quayside street in the warm sunlight. We bought an ice cream each at a little sweet shop. Cornish ice cream is wonderful stuff, creamy and rich with all sorts of lucious flavors. I of course had chocolate. As the shopkeeper handed me my ice cream she told me to watch out for the seagulls. After we left, I asked Phil what on earth the shopkeeper meant.

He told me that the gulls are skilled ice cream thieves. Some circle above the sidewalk, waiting. Others perch on the tops of street lamps. They are all holding out for an unsuspecting human to emerge from the sweet shop with ice cream in hand. Then out of nowhere, the seagulls dive down and snatch the frosty treat just like that, in broad daylight and without apologies.

To get this photo, I simply leaned over the outside edge of the harbor and snapped my shutter at the sea as it swooshed back and forth below me.
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