Good morning from the fantastic Eastern Shore of Maryland! Everything here has been status quo for the last few days. The nest is looking fantabulous and is ready, ready, ready for some action. Little robber sparrows have been stealing stuff from the nest, but don’t tell Tom and Audrey. As we all wait with breathless anticipation for the laying of the first egg, I thought I would continue with our winter saga. Hence, the title of today’s blog-The Iceman Cometh (and taketh down the old pole)!
When we last left COM and Phil from the Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, the new pole was installed and the new platform was going up. As you recall, the temperature was in the teens the day the pole and platform went up. The next project was to get the camera up and running. COM fabricated a dandy new high tech camera cover, which you will see in some of our photos. Remember, you can click on each photo to enlarge it.
On another very frigid day, the camera installation team was assembled and ready to go. First, COM had to carry the camera down to the dock
The helpers were down on the dock ready to assist
Last minute preparation was going on at the end of the dock
Once everything was ready to go, two brave souls waded through the 33 degree water to take the camera out to the new pole
Getting the camera to the top of the pole was a slow but steady process
Finally, all the way to the top.
Don’t drop it now, COM!
It was nice to have a new pole, but with it came a problem. The pole wasn’t silted in yet, and windage on the camera caused the pole to spin around almost 180 degrees. It is lucky for all of our viewers that COM got his moniker for a reason. Off he went in the frigid cold, wind and water to put the pole back where it belonged for better viewing and easier access to the platform for the ospreys.
Slow and steady, COM spun the pole back to its original position. Then the pole had to be tightened into place.
Now comes the long, cold wade back to shore and our warm house. COM can almost taste that hot chocolate now!
Now, you may be looking at all of these photos and be thinking “Well, it certainly looks cold, and there is some snow on the ground, but I don’t see any ice that would have caused all of this extra work for COM and friends”. Just to show you that we aren’t trying to garner a little sympathy for all of our hard work, here is proof positive that “The Iceman Cameth”
Our winter visitors and some of the ice damage to one of COM’s perches
Here is the old pole. It is hard to see the slant due to the angle of the photo
COM feeds his swans every morning when they are with us, usually November through March. They aren’t supposed to be walking on ice, but swimming in the water
Once the ice started to break up, a feeding frenzy ensued
So let’s shut down winter, ice and cold and get down to the business of waiting for our new osprey family. Until next time, we remain
Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man and Osprey Girl
Don’t forget to join us at the Welcome Back Osprey Event on Thursday, April 17 in Annapolis, Maryland. Details may be found at http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org
If you are enjoying the osprey camera and blog, please consider a donation to the Chesapeake Conservancy so they are able to continue supporting programs such as this one. Go to http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org today. Thanks very much!