Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Pelicans “Just Visiting” Along the Mississippi Flyway


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Pelicans were part of my lyric life in Northern California as Daniel and I paddled round the small peninsula on Clear Lake in our kayaks and there, they are! A cloud of squawking white swirling and settling on the water.

I see a blur of pelicans this morning, looking over my shoulder, as I drive on the River Road to visit my father six miles up-river from Alton, Illinois.

I slow down to see the sudden island of white as they rest on a sandbar in the middle of the Mississippi. Their awkward grace takes my breath away. And then, one opens its mouth. It's big enough to hold a woman's handbag for a jailbreak.

The eagles fly through first. But it's the pelicans that fly me home.

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