Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Don’t forget the pelicans!


This is a post I thought I’d have up a long ago. But exciting things interrupted the flow (and she probably always will).

I interrupt this blog to announce my intention to control everything my mom does for the foreseeable future.

A week ago, long before we knew we’d be sheltie parents by the weekend, I went out looking for barns and failing at that decided to check out Midland’s Overlook Park to see if the pelicans I’d heard about would be there.

Saw some barns along the way.

I saw lots of other stuff, but no pelicans for the first couple hours. The sun started going down and it got colder. I hung out, hoping. But how long should I wait?

I’d just about given up, had started texting someone about something or other, my mind moving on from the cold parking lot in the growing dusk, when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of white, right up near the edge of the pond directly in front of me…and behind the chain-link fence which is covered with vines.

Hard to focus through a fence!

A squadron of pelicans had landed! I squealed even though I couldn’t get a clear shot of them.

Next to me in the parking lot was another photographer, also with a long lens, also frustrated that the big white birds were swimming up and down along the edge of the pond, obscured by the fence.

At first all we got were pelican behinds.

But we waited, hoping. And eventually the six of them edged out just a bit into water unobscured by the fence. It was very, very, very cool.

The initial six.

And as the dusk intensified four more pelicans arrived to join the pod. Most of the time we couldn’t really see them…they’d swim out toward the middle a little bit and then all of the sudden they’d all flock back to the edge as if something startled them.

Much more obviously pelicans from the side.

But I’ve been reading how scoops of pelicans can work together to herd fish into more shallow water for easier fishing. It’s possible that’s what they were doing.

Maybe they’re fishing.

Groups of pelicans are called several things, according to articles I’ve found. “A group of pelicans has many collective nouns, including a “brief”, “pod”, “pouch”, “scoop”, and “squadron” of pelicans.” You can google it too….they’re called different things depending on what they’re doing at the time. I don’t think I used the right terms, but it was fun to read about.

Reflecting on his evening plans.

Regardless of what they’re called, they were magical to watch, and I’m really glad I stuck around, and I’m doubly glad they decided to show up, right in front of where I was parked!

See you next time, you guys!

And now you’ve seen them too!

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

39 thoughts on “Don’t forget the pelicans!

  1. we love this guys… thanks for a wonderful post ;O)


  2. A pelican lover living in Florida and I find these birds to be adorable. You capture everything special about them. I love the photo of the single one. I love all the photos! They are winter visitors here and stay till late spring. We are lucky to see them around Myakka River State Park which is not far from us.


  3. Patience rewarded! You got some really nice pictures. And I didn’t realize that Penny was such a last-minute decision. I thought her arrival had been planned.


  4. Ah hah! I knew you would be rewarded (and us, too)! What wonderful creatures. I don’t think I have ever seen white ones! From the back, they could fool us into thinking they’re swans. Wonderful pictures, Dawn. Thank you for sharing them.


  5. White pelicans! We have mostly brown pelicans here along the Gulf Coast of FL, but I did see white pelicans only one time in Alabama. That was such a treat.
    Oh, the photo of Penny–what a hoot! That pose definitely shows control–I love it!


  6. How exciting! I’ve seen herons on our trips down south, but I don’t recall any pelicans. I love the photos of the lone reflecting one … and of their cute feathered behinds! And that photo of Penny? Boy, she’s a keeper! Hope you remembered the one photo, one treat rule — I suspect Katie insisted she put it in her contract, too!


    • So far I haven’t gotten any treats for her (except a bit of string cheese if she pees outside) and she won’t sit still long enough to get any good shots…but I have hopes that with training she will sit and stay for more than a nano-second.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. An exciting few minutes seeing that squadron – and all the rest – of pelicans. They have an awful lot of collective nouns, don’t they?


  8. I used to visit our local wetlands to see the white pelicans – and take photos of them. Before moving there, I always thought pelicans only came in brown. Thank you for sharing your photos, and thank Penny for allowing you to do so.


  9. Whoops – I meant to say when I lived in South Central Oregon.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful photos both of Penny and the Pelicans. I look forward to seeing more (especially of Penny).


  11. Wow, glad you got to see them. They look like swans from behind. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pelican, not even in a zoo.


    • I’ve only ever seen them in Florida before last year when someone had shots of them at one of the nature preserves not far from me. I never knew they were around here. I wonder if them being here is a climate change phenomenon.


  12. I never knew pelicans come up north, I thought they only resided in the South. Wow!


  13. Wow, I’ve never seen so many pelicans together before. And would never have expected it to happen in Michigan. So cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi, Dawn! I was behind reading your posts and just caught up this afternoon. Forgive me – I have no comments about the pelicans. I was too distracted! Congratulations on your new family member! Penny is so cute! I know she will have you and your husband wrapped around her paw very soon. 🐾 💕

    As I read Katie’s post I burst into tears missing her (and my Gracie), sad for you, and then happy to know that she found you all the perfect little sister. I was a mess. Some days are better, then a wave of sadness and tears overwhelm. Eventually I will ready to look for a little pup. Until then I will enjoy watching pretty Penny grow and blossom, and learn about all of the special places that Katie has told her about. Many adventures await! Thank you for letting us tag along.


    • Awwww, I still cry when I read that post. I visit it periodically. I miss my girl every single day. I cry just about every day. But Penny is keeping us very very busy, so that helps. And sometimes she kind of looks like Katie, though to be honest I can’t really remember how the days went when Katie was this age. It was 16 years ago. Sometimes when there’s a lot of puppy antics I miss my girl who was so easy before she got sick. There were so many perfect years in between puppy and her illness. I used to tell her that Bonnie (the sheltie before Katie) was a GOOD girl, implying Katie was not…she was more mischievous, but she was a beautiful girl so she got away with everything. This morning I told little Penny, that her sister Katie was beautiful one, but she, Penny, is the smart one. She’s soooo smart I am probably doomed.


  15. #8, stunning photo … well, and #1 too. 🙂 We enjoy flocks of brown pelicans here on the coast of the State of Washington. Your pelicans are gorgeous.


    • They are beautiful birds. I don’t know why I never knew there were pelicans around, until a couple years ago when I saw images posted by other photographers in a Michigan bird FB group I belong to. Maybe they are a relatively recent development. Or maybe I was just oblivious.


  16. What visitors to encounter! I love “scoop” (so descriptive!) and “squadron” (the image it conjures!)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pelicans in Michigan in the winter…I never knew that was a thing! Congrats on being at the right place at the right time to get great photos!! Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dawn, Congrats on Penny’s arrival! She’s beautiful and so are your pelican photos. Nature likes to tease us and teach us to be patient before we get a good picture.


    • That’s the truth! You never know if you’re going to get any shots of what you go after…often I don’t get what I intended but I find something else pretty or interesting. Penny is being a very good girl.


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