We took a sail last weekend from the beach in Swansea and the wind took us to Fall River and the opportunity to take this series of photographs of the Borden Flats Light. They're arranged in a "photosynth" which will slide you from one photo to another in slideshow fasion. The Borden Flats Lighthouse has been warning ships of underwater hazards where Mount Hope Bay meets the Taunton River since 1875, and doing it well by all accounts. It's not much to look at but hey, it is a lighthouse and I have to tell you that I like living in a town with a lighthouse.
I also like living in a town where I can hear seagulls. Most towns just have pigeons, which is not to denigrate pigeons at all. Pigeons are great. Get in close to a pidgeon some time and admire the way the purple sheen gives way to green and moves on to handsome patterns of gray and black. Better yet, watch a boy pidgeon cuddle up to a girl and do his dance. You have to love a bird that puffs out his chest and goes about the serious business of wooing his mate with a dance. Can you tell I don't have much to say about lighthouses?
Before I forget let me send you somewhere where people have plenty to say about lighthouses, try www.lighthousefriends.com or click here to visit their page about Fall River's very own lighthouse. Those people know lighthouses. Those people have lighthouses as friends. They might do better with something warm and cuddly like a pigeon if you ask me, but they've made their choice and are proud to tell the world that they are "friends of lighthouses." Read their site. You'll know plenty about lighthouses when you're through, enough to pass as an old salt in your average conversation at a bar anyway. You may need to buy your victim a few (say ten) beers first but you'll pass. You may annoy them if they've decided they'd rather befriend a pigeon than a lighthouse but when you're through they'll know more about them than when you started ... ok ... I'm down this road far enough. You'll just have to visit a bar for yourself and see how it goes.
But about the sea gulls. They're almost as good as lighthouses to let you know you're near the sea. Not quite as good though. I mean, you can find a seagull in the parking lot of a McDonalds eating french fries and there's not an ocean in site. But if you see a lighthouse you're going to see water so that makes them a better ocean indicator. But gulls are a close second and their cries are pure poetry. Prove it to yourself. Do a google search on "seagull poetry" and see if you don't get a few hits. Now gulls have their detractors. We all do. Some people call gulls the rats of the sea but they shouldn't. They should take a long slow look at a seagull and see if they've any grounds whatsoever for comparing it to a rat. The seagull is one pretty bird seen up close and that's more than you can say about any rat.
They do like to eat though. I used to take my son down to the waterfront in Fall River to feed the sea gulls. The pigeons would show up too. That was before some tight ass put up a sign about not feeding the birds down at the waterfront. Someone never watched Mary Poppins. Someone needs to feed a pigeon and perhaps fly a kite. I haven't fed them lately. It's not that I'd let some tight ass wearing the thin cloak of civil authority ruin any fun I intended to have feeding sea gulls but I haven't done it lately. But I did ... before the sign.
My son was only two at the time. He was delighted when the first sea gull arrived to eat the bit of popcorn he'd thrown. He loved it when the gulls and the pigeons raced in. He grew alarmed when the pigeons and the gulls swarmed around him like rats ... oops.... not like rats ... more like hungry puppies. That's better. They swarmed around us like hungry puppies and I had to pick him up. We fed them together and let them land on our arms and fan our faces. It was memorable. I don't do it every day but every day I thank my lucky stars that I live in a town where I can see, hear and ... if no one officious is looking .... even feed a sea gull. Now that's living in my book.
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