I grew up near the Jersey shore – yeah – a Jersey girl! The sounds of seagulls are one of the most poignant memories I have as I recall my lazy days in the sun burning my skin with baby oil, swimming in the salt water, enjoying wild Saturday night beach parties, and falling in love. My days on the North Platte brought back those memories as we hung out with flocks of gulls throughout the weekend.
I had a difficult time trying to photograph them because they are always in motion and many of my shots are blurry. I did a little research on them and discovered that these are really quite amazing creatures. For example, they pair for life and share the task of parenting; they can drink salt water due to a special gland that flushes the water; and they can learn, remember and pass on behavior. They provided us with lots of entertainment as we imagined the meaning of their communications with their chatter and cackling.
This is not the first time that memories from my youth have surfaced on this trip. My father was an avid sportsmen – both as a participant and viewer. I spent lots of time watching football in the days of Joe Namath and learning how to ski, horseback ride, play tennis and golf. We never did go fishing though. The closest we ever came to fishing was on a vacation up in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee where we went canoeing together and were offered the opportunity to take along some spin rods. I think a lot about what kind of an affect fly-fishing would have had on him. Fishing changes you in so many positive ways.