Friday, October 27, 2006

Baron Von Pelican

The Pelican is the Louisiana State bird, but there was a time not long ago when it was nearly extinct in the state. That time is not now. Pelicans are thick on Lake Pontchartrain, and, in fact, are sometimes a menace to motorists on the Causeway, which runs 24 miles across the lake. For reasons that I don't completely understand, but which I suspect have to do with the wind coming up from under the bridge, the pelicans love to cruise along right at bridge height heading into oncoming traffic. Most of the time they are off to the side of the traffic stream, but I've had a few anxious moments when members of this Avian Legion have decided to dip down right over the bridge and it looks like they are coming in for a strafing run. In case you don't know, a pelican is a big bird, and the thought of one of them flying into your car's front window while you're doing 65 MPH is not a pleasant one. At that rate of speed, and with the often heavy traffic on the bridge, even swerving to avoid them would be iffy or impossible.

So far I haven't seen any signs that there are pelican aces with at least five wrecked cars to their credit, but I think I did see one with a red scarf around his neck the other day as he dipped his wings in my direction. I saluted him just in case.

1 comment:

Sphinx Ink said...

I love this anecdote. Although I've driven across the Causeway numerous times, it was never in the midst of a pelican strafing! I'll have to look for them next time I go across.