A Year on Clear Lake-Nov 10, 2012

An American White Pelican takes an early morning flight above the lake’s awakening waters.

Each year, as the weather begins to cool, a small flock of these beautiful birds takes up residence in our somewhat wind-protected section of the lake. Like clockwork the pelicans arrive late October or early November, gathering at the far end. They will leave in early spring as temperatures begin to heat up again.

It was the white pelicans’ annual arrival that first sensitized me to the lake’s seasonal changes. These huge birds, the epitome of dignity and grace, are hard not to notice. They float smoothly and effortlessly atop the water. Their heads disappearing momentarily beneath the water’s surface, then reappearing, and with a slight pause and a gulp – dinner is served. In flight they are majestic and regal – wingspan wide, chest proud.

I celebrate the pelicans arrival each year – not only because it signals the welcomed onset of cool weather, but for the graceful beauty these creatures bring to the lake. Their presence here is short-lived. I know to enjoy them while they are here, and I take pleasure in knowing that they will return same time next year.

The cyclic beauty of nature at work.