I watch what I shoot and wonder what one thing has to do with another. From being drawn into the vanishing point of an imperfectly straight parking garage wall found at an airport… to an odd appendage of a bridge found jutting out in the water aimed at nowhere.
I look for the threads and find that at the airport, planes fly and so do birds and… those birds that didn’t make it as birds remained as fish and… those that did make it as birds fly around waiting to eat “the never made it as birds” fish.
I think about this pair of strange piers down here. Two of them exist under the famous Skyway Bridge leading to Tampa from the south. It’s like just before they built this perfectly straight and marvelous Skyway Bridge, another story was going on. A story about two companies who got awarded the job to build the bridge; so they thought.
One company was to start from the north and the other from the south and they would meet in the middle. They both got just so far into the water and stopped for some mysterious reason. That’s where the story ends about the two companies that built these partial bridges to nowhere. About a hundred yards east of these odd unnecessary structures, towers the actual and monumental Skyway Bridge.
Rather than be demolished, the two little mistakes were turned into positive income producing fishing piers.
And on these piers are dozens of people with poles and hooks and bait. They pitch tents to nap in or get out of the sun. They teach their children how to fish and they drink lots of beer. They show off their sophisticated motorized, aerating coolers, to keep the fish alive after they catch them. They stick fish heads on hooks and throw their razor-sharp devices into the water in the hopes of catching something.
I wasn’t sure where I was going with this, but the idea of using a fish head to catch another fish, seemed a bit odd to me. Like don’t the swimming fish in the water, swim by “Fred’s head” and say, “Jeeze… Fred’s dead. Let’s get out of here.” Or do they say, like the fishermen on the pier expect them to, “Hey, check it out, Fred’s dead. Let’s eat his head.”
It made me wonder what other species eat themselves the way big fish eat little fish… or little pieces of fish. It made me wonder about all kinds of odd facts about animals.
I watched the fisherman take their catch off the deadly hook and hold it in their hand as they examine what they’ve caught. They don’t hold their bloody fish in a dainty way… they hold it with a grip that would prevent that squiggly thing from escaping, assuming there is any life left in it. I looked at the gills and fins and wondered why this fish didn’t turn into a bird.
But then I look at the mighty Pelican fisher birds, and see little to no resemblance of their evolution from fish. They might be damn ugly birds but watching them take off out of the water is just about the coolest thing I’ve seen. Their wings go up straight, then out flat, then up, then curl and then up in the air they go.
The whole time that all this fishing and flying and bait hooking is going on, the seagulls screech. They’re scavengers that will swoop down and eat almost anything. The rest of the time they just stand around leaving deposits everywhere.
In a search for other weird facts about animals… like the way fish eat the heads of their friends, I found a web page with a whole list of them. Like for instance, did you know that the Katydid bug hears through holes in its hind legs? Or that when a shrimp is born it’s male but it eventually evolves into being a female? I wondered why it didn’t evolve into males instead and if that makes females superior in some way.
Did you know that dogs are mentioned 14 times in the bible and cats are not mentioned once… although to a cat’s credit, its urine glows under a black light. A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes, a male lion can mate 50 times a day and a cat-fish has 27,000 taste buds… more than any other animal. Maybe that’s why they taste so good.