Creativity on the Wing

Living on a boat, there are always many distractions interfering with the writing and drawing tasks at hand. For example, last week I noticed a large mussel shell debris pile left by an industrious gull on a neighbor’s dock. Over the past few weeks a gull has been feasting on old, large barnacle-encrusted mussels, leaving many shells behind. In our harbor, the gulls often crack open shells by dropping them from the air onto docks, parking lots or our cars (humans beware!), then finish the job with their beaks. I tried to capture a look of satisfaction on this well-fed gull as he surveys his bounty.


gull sketch.jpg

The gulls have competition for mussels and other bay treats from an unlikely source. Although our boat is a quarter-mile from shore, there is a noisy crow population on our docks and boats. Sometimes a pair of crows teams up and successfully worries a gull into leaving his food for them. The crows are then left with the challenge of getting that food open, crow beaks being more suited to insects eating than opening crab or mussel shells. Never underestimate a crow! On our dock, they’ve learned to stuff the shells into canvas sail cover folds. The canvas acts as a vise to hold the crab or shell in place while the crow pecks it open.

After spending a while watching seagull and crow games out of my window, its time to go back to the drawing board. But now I’m hungry. Perhaps we should have moules marinières for dinner.

Useful links:


Buying seafood:

Admiring gulls:

Anne Dana