Administrative Note: Since I last posted a blog, WordPress has changed how blogs are written. I haven’t figured out or mastered the changes, so I am apologizing in advance for the wonky formatting and horribly labelled photos. I will try to do better next time. Mrs. COM
Good morning from the blustery, almost springtime, Eastern Shore of Maryland. Welcome back to Season 9 of The Crazy Osprey Family’s partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy. Since my last blog on May 4, 2020, life has certainly had its way with us, don’t you think? We were moving along in our egg incubation period, when Mother Nature intervened (and not in a positive way), and the rest of our 2020 season, as they say, was history. And then there was this minor inconvenience, a pandemic I think it is called….
And yet, here we are on the cusp of a new adventure, waiting and hopeful once again. The nest and camera poles are up, just itching for the return of our favorite ospreys. The fine folks at Explore provided us with a brand new camera, which we hope will enhance your viewing pleasure. We did have a very brief visitor earlier yesterday morning, which did not go unnoticed by our faithful camera watchers. But no sooner did I see the welcome sight and ran to grab my trusty Nikon, than the intruder flew off and was not seen again. I perused the photo grabs posted on our Explore site, and determined that the brief visitor was not Tom or Audrey, so the watch begins anew.
Seeing that osprey on the bare nest platform gave me the kick in my tushie that was needed to sit down at my computer to download, review and select photos. There was a boatload of photos to go through to get going, yet I persisted. So without further ado (I looked it up, and this is the correct spelling, by the way), here you go. So glad to have you all back. Here’s to a fantabulous 2021 here at the secret location!
On May 7, 2020, a mere three days before disaster struck our nest, a quiet evening was enhanced by an incredible full moon lighting up the water behind our house. I have found over the years that photographing full moons after dark is better left to experts in the photography field, which is not me. I still can’t figure out how to get the moon and water in focus at the same time after dark, so if anyone can help me out, please reach out in the comments. Remember, you can click on each photo to enlarge for better viewing.
Not ospreys, I know, but this adorable pair of mallards was waddling around the backyard, and I just had to include them for a smile.
May 10 was a dark day in the Crazy Osprey Family household. It was a cold, cloudy nasty spring once again, and if you have followed our camera and blog, you know these conditions don’t bode well for a successful season. Once again, due to the abysmal weather conditions, the fishing was terrible. Calico Tom, our fishing fool, was unable to provide enough fish for Audrey. She had to leave the nest for sustenance and protection from the weather. The dastardly crows, knowing the nest had been left unattended, finished the job they started on May 1, only this time we were unable to stop their attack on the remaining two eggs. Our 2020 season was over almost before it started. Tom and Audrey would be without offspring yet again.
Even though they were empty nesters (please laugh here), Tom and Audrey still had to go about their daily lives until it was time to head south. A girl’s gotta eat, so Audrey took matters into her own talons and brought home her own bacon to the former poop dock next door to the south.
Audrey’s repast did not go unnoticed by the neighborhood turkey vultures.
While I was outside taking photos of the carnage on the dock, I heard the unmistakable roar of the Blue Angels, who should have been in town for one of their heart stopping air shows for the Naval Academy Commissioning Week festivities. Although there were no festivities in 2020 due to the pandemic, our fearless six-person team was in the area to fly over the academy.
Tom and Audrey attended to their usual daily activities. One of Tom’s favorite haunts is the perch that COM built on the top of the camera pole. From there, he can survey his kingdom.
Tom leaves his perch to head down to the nest.
Tom is on his perch enjoying a little snack, and Audrey is doing her Audrey thing. See if you can figure out what her thing it. Check out the debris hanging from the right side of the nest.
Tom decides to see what all of the fuss was about and comes down to the nest
Later in the day.
You may remember last year that we installed a new purple martin house, on the dock this time instead of on terra firma. For the first time, much to my delight, we actually had purple martins. This is the biggest purple martin I have ever seen!
Mrs. COM was happy. She managed to capture one obligatory poop shot for the season, albeit one nanosecond too late.
June rolled around with very little fanfare, with all being quiet around the ‘hood. Tom and Audrey continued to be each other’s best friends, and would hang out together during the day.
Snack time! The electric box continued to be, and is, a very popular spot to take a refreshment.
Now, if you have small children reading, please excuse them from the room for a few moments. This is the often requested, seldom acquired X-rated section of our first blog of 2021, set in a series of photographs which don’t need much explanation. What you are about to witness caused much speculation about the possibility of another clutch of eggs, but was merely an intense session of osprey nooky.
A Crazy Osprey Man’s work is never done. Repairs in June, however, are far more pleasant that the ones in January and February.
Togetherness continued throughout the month of June.
With the end of spring came some storms, which were worth it due to the lovely rainbows caused by said storms.
Here are some sunrise photos from late June into late July. I couldn’t pick my favorite, so you get them all. Which do you like?
It’s not always calm and pretty at the secret location.
Our 2020 season was filled with sadness for many reasons. The pandemic was running rampant, our ospreys were once again without little ones and our country was torn apart. To add to the madness, our faithful scraggly stick tree began its slow demise into firewood due to the wet ground, wind, violent storms and its precarious location at the edge of the riprap.
Meanwhile, back at the scraggly stick tree, things are going from bad to worse.
You may have noticed that the title of this blog contains the words “Part One”, which suggests there is a part two. If you have picked up on that little nuance, then you are right. I am going to leave you for now with a photo of Mother Nature at her finest. We will pick up where I left off with the rest of the off season in the near future.
Until next time, we remain,
Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man and Osprey Girl
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://chesapeakeconservancy.org today. Thanks very much!