I haven't been lucky enough to see them yet, but I was talking to a lovely gentleman while I bought my meat and cheese today and he was saying that he’d had rotten luck with the fishing down there, but the seals had had a really good day. Apparently, there are now six seals in the harbour, who come right up close to where I have my walk in the winter (which seems to be arriving because it’s a typical grey, cold meh November day as I type this.) They’re bright little beasties because they watched, waited, and then, as he went to land a lovely sea bass, they pounced, snapped, and swam off with everything except the head of the fish.
I suppose that’s one way of saying that man and creatures live in harmony, and another one can be seen in today’s picture of all the cormorants clustered on the break water waiting for the fishing boats to come back and throw back all the fishies that are too small. Whereupon, the cormorants dive, stuff themselves, and smile smugly at how well they’ve got the humans trained. And then, for an encore, they make sure they dive out of sight at just the moment that you’re trying to take a picture of them.
Not like our Poole Quay seagulls. In other places seagulls attack. Down here they pose for photographs, very, very cutely and sit hopefully and watch you if you indulge in a portion of chips, which is another thing that Dorset does very, very well, along with fish. They catch the shellfish as well, and so do the crows, who’ve found a good use for cyclists. They drop the molluscs on the path in front of the cyclist, the cyclist runs over it, and lunch is served for the crows. Okay, they occasionally hit a cyclist, but hey, these things happen…
Add to that the overwintering birds who use Poole Harbour as a stop off point and I expect you can see why I’m down there with my camera whenever I can be and loving the wildlife who’ll also be featuring in the next Windy Bay book that I’m working on at the moment.
And, of course, I can pop into the little shops to get oddments of Christmas shopping while it’s quiet and catch up on all the local news. Not gossiping, obviously. Gossiping is naughty and mean. We’re just interested in people and plans and keeping a beady eye on what the Council are up to, in much the same way that the seal watches the fisherman.
Which brings me neatly full circle and back to hoping that whatever you do this week, you stay warm, have fun and find peace. See you next week, when the Christmas Amy Hammond book publishes!