NATURE NICHE: Dolphins say ‘Thank You’

By SCARLET COLLEY
Special to the Parade

Nature Niche pic-2-14-13Here’s another great dolphin experience to share with all of you. We were so fortunate to have a day that was flat and calm this week, so calm that the bay was like a mirror reflecting the sky so perfectly.

It even seemed there was no division between them.

And we floated quietly along watching loons preening and dolphins playing. There was another boater nearby who was most considerate and stayed back with his family as our dolphins rolled around each other at the surface. This was quite a site for me as I was seeing over a half a dozen of the matriarchs together and they were being playful, too.

All of them I have known since the mid 90s and some are getting up in their age now. You could see every little thing floating on the water for miles. I could see something near the dolphins as they played and a few dolphins came over to us and seemed to be luring us over to it. Regan did her “come on get over here” head slaps, so I slowly approached. At first I thought it was sargasso seaweed sticking up in great clumps, but something was not right.

Jasmine and Binky were swimming around and around it with some of the younger dolphins. The wise elders were showing the youngsters what it was and as we went over, we saw it was not seaweed at all but pieces of shrimp boat netting, a light nylon type, floating in large and small pieces. The father of the family on the boat grabbed my net to start picking it all up. His teenage son jumped up to help and I handed him the boat hook. And the dolphins are all around us watching us do this. At one point, it must have been wise old Cracker Jack who came up and touched the dad’s net as if to say thank you.

He was beaming and totally understood her gesture as they understood ours. Even the on-looking boater came over and picked up a larger piece. And as a “thank you,” our dolphins began leaping and playing even more.

Wow, what an amazing experience for us all. We thanked them for their time and kindness to us, and as we turned to leave one of the youngsters leaped right next to us at least 10 feet into the air. I don’t think any of us questioned that thank you leap. Mama mia – what a tribe of dolphins we have. Enjoy our nature niche, from Scarlet’s web – nurture with nature.

Editor’s Note: Scarlet Colley is the director of the Sea Life and Nature Center located on 110 N. Garcia St. in Port Isabel. Call (956) 299-1957 or visit Scarlet on Facebook at Dolphinwhisper.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2013/02/14/nature-niche-dolphins-say-thank-you/

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