Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Designed To Sell - Osprey Carrying Stick



We went boating on the Sheepscott River last night out of Robinhood Marina in Georgetown. That's Georgetown, Maine - not Washington, D.C. We went with close friends whom we have not seen all summer, because we've all been too busy. There is something really wrong with summer and life in general when it's too hectic and clogged up to enjoy friends and lolling around on a boat doing nothing at all. As Mr. Toad would have said in the Wind In The Willows, "simply messing about in boats." That was my favorite book in all the world as a youngster. I once did an illustration for a mock cover for the book. The illustration won me a prize which was one of the most joyful moments of my childhood. What a crying shame that any of us lose the ability to just relax and  enjoy what's around us. Rather, we feel as if we have to plow through it all at high speed. In fact, when we went with our friends, we had the intention of motoring up the river to an eatery in Five Islands. This made my husband very happy because we were going to be moving and there was food involved. He has zero tolerance for just sitting anywhere not being productive. But, our plans were foiled by thick fog. We had to sit, sit in the boat slip and do nothing.  
  Of course, I had my camera, but there didn't appear to be anything much to photograph. I resigned myself to noshing on cheese and crackers with soprasata while sipping Merlot. Well, actually, truth be told, guzzling. My father always admonished, "sip, don't swill," but I never got the hang of the difference. Then, I noticed these osprey. I had seen them immediately when I set my first foot on the dock, but I've taken loads of osprey photographs. I wasn't too excited about them. Then, the osprey came in with the stick and the two youngsters popped their heads up and I was off! Waves lapping at the hull became the bass hind note to the staccato of rapid fire shutter release.
   The osprey flew in several times with additional sticks which were artfully arranged and rearranged in the nest. The youngsters watched, presumably for food which was not immediately forthcoming. They got in the way of the interior decorating a couple of times resulting in some squabbling. During the hour or so that I watched, the osprey flew in with at least four sticks, but only one fish. The bird worked feverishly as if she had to make the place tip top to sell or to keep the chicks from falling through the floor. Though the osprey was doggedly industrious, I did notice that she was also able to sit for periods, doing nothing, simply looking out to sea. Good for her. That talent definitely puts her ahead of me on the evolutionary scale.
These osprey chicks are close to flying. They are flapping their wings and jostling around in the nest for room. They will make their first, clumsy attempts to fly in another week or so. Osprey are migratory here, so they had better get their act together. Before we know what hit us, it will be fall.

For more information than you might ever want to have on Osprey, click on this link.
For information on The Wind In The Willows, click this link. Take a breather and enjoy the wild ride.

13 comments:

  1. Great post, Robin! Fabulous Osprey photos!

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  2. I love the photos -- your best yet -- the cedar waxwing series is really the best bird sequence anywhere.
    But if I could put the "interactive" software of your blog in an old-fashioned garbage can with about five Hammer Heads and close the top....

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  3. Well THAT'S not good! What am I if not encouraging of interactive? I don't know what to do about this without more information. And, if I can do something, I will.

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  4. Never mind what anonymous said the photos are great! Love to see the osprey,but I'm a little concerned about channel marker 1.Looks like it's ready to crash.
    bmc

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  5. Not to fear, BMC. the marker was plenty solid, just bent from storms. Maybe Mother osprey thought it was all going to fall down, too!

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  6. Loved it!



    Tom Robinson

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  7. I REALLY enjoyed this...it truly came to life for me as I was reading your delightful, descriptive blog. Picturing you in the boat, surrounded by fog, drinking Merlot was priceless! I especially enjoyed your reference to your childhood memories. Great photos! SOME NEST!
    HG

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  8. Robin, I loved this post. It was so poignant and funny. Wind in the Willows and Osprey photos - what could be better. We have osprey in northen New Mexico too. They are so improbable... up so high in nests made of sticks. I love your blog.

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  9. HG, thanks for that thoughful comment. I'm thrilled that my efforts to create a picture with words come through as much as my photos.

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  10. Laurie, thank you, truly. The link that I provided in the blog to more info on osprey was, oddly enough, the Nebraska Dept. of wildlife site. I think of Nebraska as mostly dry, though that may be a misconception. I associate osprey with vast water as we have here. Here, they've made nest messes in the tops of ALL of the cell phone towers. I love the irony of that!

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  11. There was a power outage in June, can't remember exactly where but here on the Maine coast, due to an osprey dropping a big stick on power lines which shorted them out. Osprey was fine. Apparently it's a regular occurence!

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  12. Great shots; I know the Osprey!! You went by Harmons Harbor; you should come in sometime; so private and lots of birds.

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  13. Whoa - that IS a big stick. And did you know that the little village of Robinhood was called Riggsville until sometime in the 70's or 80's? Yup. And speaking of osprey, did I tell you I got a shot of an osprey carrying THREE fish a few weeks ago? http://www.riggsphoto.com/Nature/Osprey/2010-Alewife-Run/11639270_kzvJA#905572159_Luaz2-A-LB (Actual, unretouched photo!)

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