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y u do dis?

Anybody understand seagulls? I grew up a thousand miles from the sea, so I don’t have the usual seaside prejudices about gulls. On the other hand, they’re a mystery to me.

In the town where I work, the rooves are covered with little clumps of moss. And every Spring, the gulls pluck the moss off clump by clump and drop it on the sidewalk. I mean, seriously — the sidewalks are covered with flattened mossburgers where people have walked on it.

Today, I had to sit through a meeting on an upper floor, and I watched a gull on the roof across from me busily snatching up clumps of moss and tossing them over the side.

I know what you’re thinking – they’re building nests. Well they’re not. Okay, maybe they are, but I don’t see them doing it. I see them plonking them into the road deliberately. Last year, I was talking to a lady in the street when a wet ripe moss splatted onto her head. She said, “eh, they do that.”

They do! Buy why?

Think on it, get back to me, and have a good weekend!


Comment from gebrauchshund
Time: April 27, 2018, 10:36 pm

Maybe it’s just fun, like dropping rocks into water from a bridge. They,re pretty smart, and smart animals do seem to have a penchant for mischief.

Comment from Crabby Old Bat
Time: April 27, 2018, 11:20 pm

Seagulls drop shellfish to crack them open, so maybe dropping stuff is just instinctive. I’ve heard they drop rocks, probably thinking they might be shellfish, so perhaps they just drop anything that is approximately the right size to be a clam or scallop or whelk or snail. I suppose a bug or two could be jarred loose when they drop moss, so it could be learned behavior as well.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 28, 2018, 1:56 am

zOMG!1! Those aren’t gulls – those are the three-dimensional intersections of four-dimensional hyperintelligent Meta-Galactic Banditos! They got marooned here when their flying soup tureen’s battery died and they found that they’d forgotten to put 4D jumper cables in the boot/trunk.

Dropping clams, rocks, moss clumps, etc., is their way of determining the density and viscosity of our atmosphere as temperature, relative humidity, and altitude vary so they can build a craft using terrestrial materials that will get them high enough that they can get a jump start. They’re worried about getting the Reynolds Number correct so they won’t be at the mercy of wind turbulence while they try to get some lift from sheep flatulence, methane being lighter than air.

Can I have some more wine, please?

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: April 28, 2018, 3:15 am

Because moss tastes better than fish guts?
Because assholes don’t hid firecrackers in moss to try and blow gulls up?
Maybe they wuz hired by the Ministry of Housinge (spelt that way on the side of the van) to remove the moss?
Maybe they’re trying to get a gig with Mick Jagger and the boys(you do the math).

Comment from Bob
Time: April 28, 2018, 5:26 am

Maybe they just want to remove the moss so they can use the rooves for toilets without tickling their arses.

Comment from peacelovewoodstock
Time: April 28, 2018, 12:13 pm

“In the heated idleness of youth we were all rather inclined to quarrel with the implication of that proverb which says that a rolling stone gathers no moss. We were inclined to ask, “Who wants to gather moss, except silly old ladies?” But for all that we begin to perceive that the proverb is right. The rolling stone rolls echoing from rock to rock; but the rolling stone is dead. The moss is silent because the moss is alive.”
― G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 29, 2018, 5:42 pm

I am often confused by calendars and dates and other time markers, but oughtn’t this be a dead pool post?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 29, 2018, 7:19 pm

@AliceH – I may be confused, too, but I think the current Dead Pool opened a week ago on April 20.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: April 29, 2018, 7:53 pm

How are the mugwort dreams working out?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 29, 2018, 9:49 pm

Meh. Not so you’d notice. And smoking stuff leaves a nasty taste in my mouth afterwards.

I wrangled some sleepy mix out of our tame herbalist that has an ingredient that’s supposed to enhance dreams. Uncle B will remember what it’s called. I can’t say that’s spectacularly effective either.

Does help me sleep, though.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 29, 2018, 9:50 pm

AliceH: did I miss a death?

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 30, 2018, 12:46 am

I’m the one confused. When I clicked the dead pool link on the right, it brings up #107 with a February date. However, when I scroll down through the posts I do see the current one (also #107) dated 4/20. That’s the one I missed, or just forgot – the post-Barbara Bush one.

Can’t tell whether age or insomnia is screwing with my memory more. I’m certain it’s not the whiskey.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2018, 7:53 am

Oh, hell — did I screw up the numbers again?

Hey, guess what — I had the ‘algebra test’ dream last night! First time in a thousand years.

Yes, my math. It is not good.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: April 30, 2018, 11:55 am

Oh heavens—dreaming about an algebra test! That’s not a dream, that’s a nightmare! But I remember dreaming in “French,” where I laboriously tried to translate my English thoughts into French for my teacher. I also had typing dreams—which were awful—but not as traumatic as the French dreams.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 30, 2018, 2:35 pm

Gulls? They’re beyond me. When I lived in Denver, 1500 miles from any ocean, they used to cluster in big gangs all over empty parking lots. I still see them here, but the Gulf is not far away; it’s understandable. But what is the attraction big parking lots have for gulls? The trash that humans leave behind? The fact the lots are flat and wide-open (except when humans are driving all across them, that is), rather like the sea when it’s calm?

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: April 30, 2018, 2:48 pm

“The fact the lots are flat and wide-open ”
ah, good thought, I hadn’t considered the calm sea parallel.
Except for the lurker beneath the waves doesn’t lurk under the tar and (ba-dum, baaaaa-dum, baaaaaaa-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum….)
sends his tentacles bursting forth into the sunlight dragging down hundreds of placidly floating guls and….. Cthulhu!

Sorry, wrong comment thread. But I think you’re on to something with the sealike setting.

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 30, 2018, 5:26 pm

I’m playing with the theory it’s partially completed behavioral evolution. Most all Gulls use moss in nests, but they’ve evolved in lots of ways in where and how they build them as they adjust to human habitation and encroachment. So, the moss-gathering instinct is still extant, but what to do with said-moss is gone. I imagine them flying about thinking “Yay! Imma get me summa dat!” Then as they fly off with a beak-full, they think, “WTF do I do with this now? Ptui!!”

Comment from EZnSF
Time: May 3, 2018, 12:27 am

They’re throwing tantrums because they aren’t Robins.

Comment from Lark
Time: May 16, 2018, 8:00 pm

Bugs underneath, surely?

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