Monday, December 08, 2008


I am watching the white gannets
blaze down into the water
with the power of blunt spears
and a stunning accuracy--
even though the sea is riled and boiling
and gray with fog
and the fish are nowhere to be seen,
they fall, they explode into the water
like white gloves,
then they vanish,
then they climb out again,
from the cliff of the wave,
like white flowers--

from Gannets by Mary Oliver

A glimpse over the sea wall at a huge group of gannets feeding close to shore brought me back onto the beach at Sea Bright yesterday. It was a good thing that my camera battery gave out from the cold, or I might've stood there watching long enough to turn into a popsicle stick.

Even the fishermen were complaining of the bitter wind!

Gannets are a treat to see and there's some mystery of weather I don't understand that brings them close to shore. Whatever it is, fishermen react to the same call of wind and tide or whatever and were out in numbers yesterday too.


bobbie said...

An amazing photo! And I love the poem.. Yes, it was bitter cold. You are courageous to have been near the water on a day like that.

John said...

Sounds like fun... I suspect that their proximity to land has to do with where the fish banks are. Gannets don't seem to be affected by the wind too much because I have seen them close to shore even in howling NW winds.

NCmountainwoman said...

Great shot. We appreciate your getting frozen to bring it to us. It even looks cold in the picture.

Floridacracker said...

Gannets are so impressive. Thanks for the shot and for triggering a memory of standing atop the Castillo in St. Augustine and watching Gannets plunge like dive bombers into a winter sea.

cedrorum said...

I've always liked Gannets and am amazed at birds that seem to spend so much time at sea.

Susan Gets Native said...

I only wish I had gotten a better look at the gannets in Cape May. Kathi and I saw a nice-sized group at Avalon, but they were waaaaaay out there.
You get to see such cool birds....what will New River hold for you? Or are you just coming for us crazy women?

MevetS said...

Nice shot. It looks more like a painting then a photo. Neat.

LauraHinNJ said...

Bobbie: Thanks... I actually love the cold!

John: I don't know which way the winds were, but they were howling!

They seem to be close when there's storms, don't you think?

NCMountainWoman: Yeah... I was frozen but happy!

FC: Yeah... I love watching them.

Cedrorum: It's funny how I'm learning the birdy treats each season holds.

Susan: Mostly WVa is just about you crazy women!

Though I am hoping for a Cerulean!

(NJ has the best birds, btw.)


Steve: Thanks... PS magic.