2007 - St Johns River Pelicans - Hidden Christmas Nativity Manger Scene

by J. R. Beatty

CHRISTMAS NATIVITY SCENE
CHRISTMAS NATIVITY SCENE
I was photo capturing by the St. Johns River near Mayport Naval Station, FL at Christmas time. The tidal river was at a muddy, low tide. (Click on photos)

This scene was unexpected and a little puzzling at first. But upon closer inspection, I was glad to see that God's creatures living there and the human tools of our river industries were successfully co-existing in this
non-pristine, somewhat stressful environment.

A number of dissimilar water vessels were stuck in the mud or close to it. A pontoon boat, shrimp trawlers, a barge, a small sailboat, and a much larger cargo ship - were all moored right there. It was a busy, visual tangle of ropes, cables, masts, fishing nets, radar pods, radio antennas, ladders, booms, wooden walkways,
barnacled pilings, concrete, ... but no human animals were seen anywhere at this low tide time.



CHRISTMAS NATIVITY MANGER - BABY JESUS PELICAN
CHRISTMAS NATIVITY MANGER - BABY JESUS PELICAN
I found the small Pelican family in an unusual nest on the river bank. It reminded me of a modern day "Christmas Nativity Scene" - but completely hidden in plain sight - just like the original Bethlehem Nativity!

This nuclear family consisted of "Joseph", "Mary", and THE "Baby Jesus" Pelicans. Look close to see THE Baby lying down next to its parents (in the manger?). There also were other Pelicans in the area walking on the mud and standing on the barnacled, wooden pillings (the shepherds or wise men?).

There were lots of seagulls, sandpipers, and other sea birds noisily flying overhead (the Heavenly Host angel choir?). But most surprising, the manger nest itself was located on and within large, hard, broken up concrete chunks (no room in the Inn?). That surrounding manger material may have provided some extra protection for the nesting Pelican family.

To me, this scene is a righteous religious reminder, a visual message to every human who sees and comes to understand its hidden Christmas meaning.

So finally I say, "... Happy Christmas to All, and to All - a Good High Tide - Tonight"!