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The Little Gull | … I watched her and she watched me ... | by Kaija Savinainen Mountain

I watched her and she watched me. I think that is how it began. It must have been day five or six of my stay on Porphyry that I began to take closer notice of this one small gull. She sat and stood on a certain rocky outcrop overlooking the tip of the island. She would arrive early in the morning spending a couple of hours on her perch. This was repeated several times throughout the day. The routine was similar; she kept a close eye out for predators, watched the weather and boaters, kept an eye for visitors who dared to venture too close to her juvenile children. They were oblivious to any dangers while flying about, diving and frolicking in the surrounding waters. As time passed while on watch she would eventually begin preening herself. I was spellbound by this little creature, even mentioning her to some of the people I stayed with. Many had not noticed nor really paid any attention to her but eventually people began to report back that little gull was out there on her rock.

Sketches by Kaija Savinainen Mountain

Sketches by Kaija Savinainen Mountain

One morning my curiosity aroused, I wandered over and climbed up to her lookout. I discovered it had a small soft patch of moss and grass, making for a comfortable place to rest one self. Part of my morning routine was to walk out with my coffee in hand and gaze at the horizon, the massive expanse of water, the coming and going of weather patterns, just observing all that presented it self. I had noticed the gulls immediately on my arrival but not the one who was the keeper. I climbed up and sat on her spot admiring her view. Yes, it had great view; the lighthouse tower, the buildings, the forests, the great sweeping expanse of the Lake and both beaches were clearly visible. Indeed, it was a great spot, she had chosen well! I did sit for a time imagining myself as her. I did a few sketches. Somewhere in my thought process something stared to nag…I had taken her spot and I should get my butt off the rock. Quickly I packed up my supplies and moved to a different location. Didn’t give the matter much thought for the rest of the afternoon.  Later in the day I returned to see if the little gull had come back. She not. Nor did she for the rest of the afternoon or evening. I realized the error of my ways. I should not have done what did. I felt ashamed of my brazen behaviour. I realized it was my actions that had caused her to stay away.

Sketches by Kaija Savinainen Mountain

Sketches by Kaija Savinainen Mountain

Sketches by Kaija Savinainen Mountain

Sketches by Kaija Savinainen Mountain

The next morning, I was out early, and straight away I walked up to the heli pad. From there I had a good view of the perch rock and the surrounding water. My eyes searched for her small shape and yes, there she was perched on her rock. She had returned. I slowed my pace not wanting to spook her, stopping at the edge of the concrete pad I paused, collecting my thoughts. I begun to speak softly” I’m sorry, I intruded on your space, it was never my intention to upset you or to be so forward as to assume that could occupy your perch, my sincerest apologizes, I won’t do that again”. Now would you like to see the drawings have completed? I felt so much better.

On my very last afternoon I walked up to my spot on the heli pad and said goodbye to the little gull. I stood for a moment watching her in her environment with waves washing, pounding the rocks below. I was going to miss my daily conversations with Little Gull. I did tell her I had plans to complete some oils of her. I hoped I could do her justice. As I turned to leave I glanced back. I saw her rise up, begin flying over the rocky shore, then turning slightly heading in my direction. She sailed past easily, gracefully riding the wind. She banked again and returned to her perch. She fluffed her feathers and settled down for the day ahead. I took this brief aerial gesture of hers as a parting sign, a farewell. “Safe journey to you and your youngsters” I whispered as I headed down toward the boathouse.

Sketches by Kaija Savinainen Mountain

Sketches by Kaija Savinainen Mountain