Thursday, March 28, 2019

Los Pajaros del Mar

Waning Crescent Moon

Fifty-six years ago today Alfred Hitchcock released The Birds, which, along with Psycho, permanently scarred the fragile, developing medullas of an entire generation. It wasn't Elvis or Little Richard or Dylan or Kesey or the Beatles or Hendrix or Joplin that screwed everybody up. It was Alfred Freakin' Hitchcock.

Filmed mostly in Bodega Bay, just 130 miles up the coast from here, The Birds starred Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor, with a minor appearance by a very young Suzanne Pleshette. Pleshette was so addled by her role in the movie that she spent several tri-polar years married to TV psychologist Bob Newhart. Thank God. What a great show. Every single character was certifiably cuckoo.

So what did I do to celebrate my personal, cracked-up-cortex anniversary? I went to the beach, of course, knowing full well there would be no telephone booths to hide in, that every church in a fifty mile radius would be locked up tight, that every school would be fenced and gated and patrolled by an armed resource officer, and that every place of business would charge me top dollar to hide behind their counter. My only refuge would be Spugly the Spectacularly Ugly Palomino Transporter, which already has a couple of cracks in its windshield, and a pair of wobbly, stinkin' green port-a-potties on the edge of the parking lot, which is separated from the beach by a steep line of sand dunes. Sheesh.

Okay, not to bore you, I'll cut right to the chase. Nothing bad happened. I walked a little over six miles in the sand and I saw all kinds of beach and sea birds, especially at the mouth of the Pajaro River near Zmudowski Beach. Pajaro, of course, means "bird" en Espanol. It was the opposite of scary as hell. It was heavenly. I loved it.

I saw snowy plovers, black flying cormorants, gulls, sulking red-faced turkey vultures, nervous curlews and sandpipers, but nary a pelican, not a solitary one. I saw a single bobbing sea otter and a bunch of fat, lazy harbor seals napping on a spit in the harbor. I only saw a handful of other, non-scared humans. All together it was a great, fun day.

Probably, it is better that no birds gang-pecked me or chased me over the dunes into the potty. Maybe after fifty-six years the generational curse is over and The Birds is merely another classic scary movie. Maybe. I hope so. At this point, I can't outrun a sea turtle much less a flock of crazed sea birds.

Peace, Love, and {insert seagulls squawking here},

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