Local Hunter and Gatherer Attacked by Pete, the Pelican!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Looking back on my experience with "Pete" the pelican yesterday makes me laugh.  But, during the apparent pelican attack, I can't say it was a laughing matter.

It was a beautiful morning and a perfect morning for hunting and gathering.  My husband, Matthew dropped me, my aunt Deedee, and her friend Mary Lewis off at Sandy Point.   Little did I know that as we gathered over 100 sand dollars, that I would be the one in fact hunted.  We walked over 6 miles, and when I came upon a lone pelican about 3 miles in, there wasn't a sole in sight.  Deedee and Mary Lewis had gotten a bit ahead of me.  I thought as I walked up to Pete, that this would be a good opportunity to get a close picture of a pelican.  Perhaps I would paint him later.  Bad idea.  

This is Pete.

Pete turned on me.  It felt like pay back for bothering all my outdoor buds.  He came after me.  I backed up and went on my way.  As I continued picking up sand dollars up at the high tide line, squatting like a 2 year old with new knees, out of no where Pete was in my face, his beak going right for my shells.  I dropped over 6 sand dollars trying to get up to get away.  In the "flight or fight" scenario, it's obvious I am a flight kind of girl.  I ran.  Panting, trying to meet up with Deedee and Mary Lewis, I tried to get away.  And I thought I was successful, until  I see Pete begin to fly after me.  Low to the ground with a wing span wider than Michael Jordan's basketball arms, I started hyperventilating.  WTF?!  I ran to the ocean, smacking the salt water with my feet hoping that the ocean splashing would deter Pete more.  Oh wait, there's a sand dollar.  I picked up the beauty, continuing to pant, and looking over my shoulder.  Pete remained at the attack location. 

I finally made it to Deedee and Mary Lewis, explaining the recent course of events.  Seconds later, Pete is in the air again after me; after us.  I found a palm on the ground and picked it up.  Flight obviously didn't work, so now I decide it's time to fight.  Deedee is a fight girl first and foremost, and picks up an old fire extinguisher that was left on the beach from the ocean, and we started yelling "NO" at Pete.  I didn't want to hurt Pete, I just wanted some peace again.  

Finally after throwing a clam, that reeked of low tide, Pete was no longer interested in what I had to offer.  It was obvious that Pete was not protecting a nest - we had covered at least 2 miles.  Pete was after food.  Sandy Point is frequented by boaters all over the Charleston area, and it's obvious that some dumb** visitors thought it was a good idea to feed the pelicans.  It is never a good idea to feed live animals.  Never.  And, not just because locals will call you a tourist either to your face, or silently behind your back.  It always back fires.  Thankfully it was only a pelican and not some alligator displaced on the ocean.  And, even though he may have deserved it, Pete left us alone unscathed.  Finally.  So, no pelican's were injured as a result. 

We laughed about it all day, obviously even naming the lone attacker.  And, thankfully last night I did not have nightmares of pelicans attacking me.  But I can say, I will never look at pelicans the same ever again.

Here are some other, more calming photos of our otherwise enjoyable and peaceful hunting and gathering adventure:

Peek - a - boo.

I love when you find a sand dollar showing it's true texture.

Don't feed pelicans, and have a great day!


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