An upcycle, a story, and a bird

THE UPCYCLE: I am always looking for a way to use something before I throw it away.
I've been using fence panels that were weathered and replaced
to paint my pelicans.
It seems to work well since here at the beach things get weathered
quickly from the sun and salt air anyway,
Why not use some of these things?
There are soooooooo many pelicans at the beach and
painting them on weathered wood just seems right.
I do love pelicans.
And I am enjoying painting half pictures
It's a little bit of a challenge
Getting it to look just right with... half a bird
THE STORY: A few years ago I found a pelican on a fishing pier with a hook in its mouth.
It happens a lot
because they hang out under and around the pier
for freebies
I held the pelican by its beak and removed the hook.
At that time, I did not know
that pelicans breathe through their mouth
and you are not supposed to hold their beak closed
which is what I was doing
He was so patient
Thankfully I got the hook out quickly
and didn't suffocate him.
He was grateful and gave me a big, sloppy pelican kiss.
He just wandered away
looking for more freebies off some fisherman's line.
They are really awesome birds.


Night Floater
Another time, I was at a park with a friend, and we saw a pelican floating a few feet from shore
hopelessly tangled in fishing line
with a sinker attached.
He could not fly.
He would have eventually died.
His mate was floating nearby, refusing to leave.
My friend waded in (mucky murky marsh) and cut the tangled line off
He quickly swam away to his mate,
and together they flew away.
It was awesome.
I really really like pelicans.


  1. Oooh! Wow! these are gorgeous paintings ~ love them ~ Brave lady ~ glad you could help the pelicans ~ thanks, carol xx

  2. Your pelican paintings are wonderful Judie. You've given two examples of man's interference to make these majestic birds' lives difficult and painful.
    On cycling home from work, my husband saw young men flicking lighted cigarette butts at these harmless birds as they picked up the glowing butts in their beaks and swallowed them. Unfortunately as the men were drunk and aggressive he was limited in what he could do. Such interference often ends badly here - a Dutch tourist lost his life recently through trying to rescue someone in an alcohol-related country town incident.
    It makes me despair when we should all be appreciating the fact that these unusual birds are there to admire (and paint!). Thank you so much to you (and your friend) for your rescue work.

  3. I really love Pelicans too Judie. When Lee and I were first falling in love we went to the beach and watched the pelicans dive for fish. It's a favorite memory. Your art is incredible. Really love these pickets painted. xxx

  4. This made my heart ache. Not a sore ache, but an ache nonetheless.


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