I will confess that, even though I love to watch birds, gulls are not my favorites. They’re so blasted noisy for one thing! But today Winston and I were walking on the spit and met a couple from Wisconsin, armed with a birding scope, so I knew they were serious. I confessed my gull guilt and was promptly rewarded with an amazing discussion about the five types of gulls they’d seen that very morning. I couldn’t catch everything from this impromptu lesson but I recall that some gulls have yellow legs and some pink and the young of some have a grey spot by their eyes. And listen to these names: Caspian Tern and Bonaparte Gull.
|Guess which gull this is!|
Of course I saw a message in this for me as a writer: it’s all about concrete and specific details. Every morning outside my Shangri-Lar office window, I see dozens of gulls. But now I will look for yellow and pink legs, for grey spots and white heads.
How much richer the world and my writing can be if I’m a little less lazy and a little more precise.