Prior to moving to St. John, I would dream of how I would spend my days, frolicking around the island in my sun dresses and flip flops, sinking my toes into the sand every chance I got, and sipping rum punch each evening watching the spectacular sunsets. For the most part, my dreams have come true. However, interspersed with all of the daily activities I envisioned, a host of other daily things that I had no idea would happen, are happening! Many times this involves different island wildlife I had no idea would become part of my daily life and soon seem completely normal. I don't even bat an eyelash anymore when I look out my office door to see two huge iguanas sauntering down the road, a rooster eyeing me as he struts outside my door, or a few goats passing by.
A few months ago, we had what I now refer to as the "Pelican Encounter". First, let me start with introducing who I am. I am Julie of "Julie & Dave" of Coconut Coast Villas. We are the managers here as of December 2013. We LOVE Coconut Coast Villas and as part of our time here decided to start a blog about daily life happenings at Coconut Coast. We also have a wonderful love story about how we ended up here, in paradise, at Coconut Coast Villas (stay tuned for that in a future blog)!
One day I stepped away from my office to go into our back storage room. I was gone for just a few moments and when I walked back into my office, there was a large pelican just outside the screen door to the office. I thought "hmmm, interesting" and said the normal island courtesy "Good Morning" to the pelican. Yes, I do talk to all of the animals I come into contact with. I am one of "those people". I should note the screen door at the time was ripped and was open on two sides in the bottom corners (this has now been dutifully fixed by my other half, Dave). The pelican then promptly stepped through the screen and waddled right into my office. I was startled at first and froze. The pelican started coming at me. That may sound not threatening, but until you are face to face with a pelican RIGHT in front of you, in a confined space, do not judge. Pelicans are beautiful critters, but they are also quite large. With a very long, very large beak!
I decided I needed to make it to the door and open it and perhaps the cute, but LARGE pelican would just walk right back out. I put my back to the wall and slowly slid my body to the door, pressed up against the wall so that I could get as far away as possible from the pelican, crossing my fingers I would make it to the door without being attacked. I opened the door and asked the sweet pelican to please leave. She just turned and looked at me. She then opened her beak and did a sort of pelican yawny thing. I decided she must be trying to speak with me. So, I started talking to her and she would tilt her head and look directly at me. I tried to figure out "why is she here", "what does she want" and "what does all of this mean"? I began to worry that she was ill and came to me to get help. I mean why else would a pelican just walk right into my office. She obviously needed something, right? I started to channel my previous life where I was a social worker and began trying to figure out what was wrong with her and how could I help her.
Just then Filomena, Coconut Coast's housekeeper, came into the office and saw the pelican. I told Filomena I was worried she was ill. Filomena walked directly up to the pelican and started doing what I only know to describe as an examination. She petted the pelican first and then lifted up each wing and looked underneath and then shrugged her shoulders and walked away saying "bueno", and "no problem". Perhaps the pelican is not ill? Perhaps the pelican just came to hang out and meet me?
I was still a little unnerved by the whole thing. I decided to try to coax her out with cat food I had on hand for the feral cat "Raj" that lives in the area. She did follow me outside with the cat food in my hand, but would not eat it when I put it on the ground. When I returned to the office, she promptly walked right back in after me!
I decided I needed to call Dave to come assist with the "Pelican Encounter". Dave started taking photos immediately and did not think it was a big deal we had a pelican in the office. Needless to say, he was not very helpful in getting the pelican to leave. It became clear the pelican was what I will call "attracted" to my voice. When I spoke, she would turn and come at me. I left the room and went and hid in the back storage room, thinking she might leave if I stopped talking to her. Anytime I said a word, she would come towards the door and just stand there, wanting to get in to where I was!
Eventually, the plan did work. She simply turned around, walked right back out the ripped screen door and took off flying over the salt pond. Not before Dave got a few videos and good shots of her.
I still think about her and wonder "what the heck"? Why did a pelican come see me? Was it some sort of "sign"? A long lost relative in pelican form? Do I have some sort of pelican soul mate? Or, was I mistaken for a pelican and it was mating season? I realize I might never know why the pelican stopped by to chat. I am grateful she choose me to come see and am waiting for the day she returns. I will be ready the next time and most likely it will turn into just another "normal" day here at Coconut Coast Villas.
Here is a link to a video of the pelican -