I was sitting about 80ft off sea level - on top of a cliff - overlooking the vastness of the ocean below me as it stretched out to meet the sky - when suddenly I saw a moving shadow - a black winged creature - perhaps a meter of wingspan. It at first looked like a bird. It landed on a large outcropping of rocks just beyond the black sand beach. Not being one to think more about birds than "do they taste good?" I ignored it. It was about a minute later when the corner of my eye caught a flash of light. "May the Seven Bless Me" I thought... it was no bird. It was a small solid black dragon. Dragons have been extinct for over 300 years. But as I am living and breathing at this moment - this creature lives and breathes as I do. It let out several ear piercing screeches. It was then that I noticed the black sailed ship in the distance. Another impressive display of fire - like a funnel of blistering hot death - reached into the sky... reflecting off the rocks and the water. It then tucked its wings to its side and leaped straight up into the air - an impossible height. Just as the creature looked like it would fall back into the water it spread its wings and in the blink of an eye it disappeared into the fog as it rolled in to the coast.
Sometimes I take photos and they totally remind me of something else... like the beautiful Brandt's Cormorant - drying its wings after a deep dive into the ocean. The Brandt's Cormorant will dive into the ocean and swim to catch the fish it prefers to eat. This bird has been observed foraging at depths of 40ft! In the process of hunting fish underwater their feathers get soaked with ocean water. They will crawl out of the water onto rocks or the beach and wave their black feathered wings back and forth to shake the water from them. Until they dry their wings they cannot fly. I looked down from the observation deck at my friend's house on the cliff above the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara just as the sun was setting and I observed this bird standing like a statue. It looked other-worldly. It looked like a dragon. A little work in Photoshop using AlienSkin's Eye Candy 7 "Fire" and "Reflection" plugins and my Brandt's Cormorant became Drogon - the black dragon of Westeros.