Sep 09 2011
The first was a one-man helicopter the size of a Volkswagen beetle. It appeared over the mountain just above the trees and quickly and quietly maneuvered into the valley behind the Asticou Inn where it landed in a tiny clearing the size of a parking space.
By the time we got there it was tethered like a horse, its rotor tied to the front with a long strap. We had never seen such a small quiet helicopter but we obviously don’t travel in the right circles.
That was the well-behaved flying object. The second was another story.
It happened while my husband and I sat on the shoreline boulders, watching the waves and eating lunch. There was a Labor Day crowd on the Shore Path and some were feeding the gulls. We were not, but the local gulls knew that handouts were a possibility.
I was holding my sandwich up, ready to take a bite, when I saw a herring gull about to land on me. His pink legs and large wings filled my view. He was nearly on top of my sandwich when I shouted and ducked. The gull flew over me… and hit my husband on the head! My husband nearly dropped his sandwich but the gull could not snatch it.
Foiled in his attempt at our food the gull flew over the water and stole a crab from an unsuspecting eider. How dare he! It actually made me mad.
Herring gulls apparently do this the world over. This photo is from Belgium.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see the original.)