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Make your mark!


Unless you've seen pelicans on a beach, you won't necessarily recognize these footprints in the sand. This photo was taken a few years back on the tiny strip of land that is home to Morris Island Light. Standing on the southern side of the entrance to Charleston Harbor, north of the City of Folly Beach, in South Carolina, along the east coast of the United States, the light is visited almost continually by shore and sea birds. Among them, pelicans.

The day I visited the island I encountered a group of fifty or more (it was hard to be exact as they were frolicking and scampering) played in the surf, galavanting on the sand. I sat and watched.

A group of pelicans can be called a "brief,"a "pod," or a "squadron," and maybe a few other things. I like squad for short. My squad of pelicans was chasing waves, resting, diving into the water; and taking flight to get away from me every time I attempted to get closer. They appeared to be sociable, friendly, downright neighborly, at least with one another. If nothing else, these pelicans were having fun, doing what pelicans do. Once they left the tiny island, all that remained of their visit were their footprints on the sand.

I don't think I could have told you what made those marks in the sand if I had not seen the pelicans for myself. One thing is for sure, though, I would have known something had visited the beach in addition to me.