The Master Procrastinator

Well, look who is back! Welcome to the sunny but chilly Eastern Shore of Maryland. Winter is still with us, but spring is just around the corner. I have annointed myself the Master Procrastinator, and with good reason. The promised last blog of 2021 has officially become the first blog of 2022, but it is here nonetheless. I will pick up where we left off, in early September 2021.

Audrey left us in August, as she usually does, leaving the boys to their own devices. Here is one last Tom and Audrey photo taken just before she left.

Audrey, Calico Tom the Fishing Fool and an unwanted hopeful visitor

C.J. grew bigger and sassier, and definitely inherited her mother’s robust squawking gene.

C.J. has inherited her mother’s robust voice and her father’s penchant for sitting on top of the camera pole

C.J. hanging out at the nest in the late afternoon

Calico Tom The Fishing Fool rarely fails to live up to his moniker. His fishing skills continue to amaze us.

Tom hanging out at the NEMA box on a cloudy day enjoying the fruits (well, sort of) of his labor while Roger continues to pose no threat to Tom’s hard won meal.

A meal way up high in Joe’s big tree

One afternoon in September, I looked out to see our fishing fool on the dock picnic table next door to the north. I quite enjoyed observing the events that took place during the fish feast.

Tom was enjoying his fish when he noticed Mrs. COM and her darn camera, and sounded the alarm

Mrs. COM wasn’t the only one who noticed Tom and Moby Dick

Now Tom appears to want my help. Can’t you do something about this bothersome ring-billed gull, Mrs. COM? (so aptly named, don’t you think?)

Tom looks disgusted. Are you kidding me? First the gull, now this dastardly crow?

Enough is enough, says Tom. Time for you to go, crow

The crow decides Tom is not messing around, and leaves without a look back. He knows there will be another fish on another day

And take this while you’re at it, you wretched crow.

Did you notice how slyly I snuck in the best poop shot of the season? I told you I had a good one. Was it worth the wait? You’re welcome!

Some of the lovely parts of living where we do, with the fabulous eastern exposure, are Mother Nature’s vistas. Here are some of them.

September’s glorious full moon shortly before the sun fully set
No changes were made to this photo other than some minor cropping. Are we lucky to live here or what?

And what would a good eastern exposure be without a few sunrise photos?

Mother Nature in all her glory

Looking to the northwest the same morning

Tom seemed to be enjoying his yearly stint at bachelordom. He continued to frequent his usual haunts.

A quiet afternoon on COM’s boatlift.

There are many other avian visitors to our secret location in addition to our favorite ospreys. Great Blue Herons are frequently seen, during the day as well as resting in our nest at night. A very adorable young heron spent a great deal of time in and around our area. One cloudy late afternoon, the heron’s presence was not appreciated by Tom.

Tom takes exception to the young heron using his digs and swoops in to stake his claim

Tom has captured the youngster’s attention and junior prepared to take flight

Our young Great Blue Heron likes to explore the surroundings.

The youngster decides to take a stroll down the dock to the north of us

While Tom’s away, a heron takes advantage of the view from the boat lift. COM was quite happy that the front of the heron was closest to his boat and not the back

Time for a sunrise break!

The essence of serenity

As the ospreys start to leave, we see more and more of our bald eagles. They are such magnificent birds, and still cause a flutter of pride every time we see one.

Way up in Joe’s big tree, a majestic adult bald eagle enjoys a late summer day

This looks like a good place to enjoy a fish, thinks the eagle. Needs a little renovation, but it will work fine for now

The eagle is learning what our ospreys have discovered years ago. The crazy woman with the camera will appear when you least expect it. He leaves with a stick tangled up with his fish. Check out his beak peaking out from under his wings

COM took this photo for me just recently while I was at work. SWEET! Thank you, COM!

C.J. used her last few weeks to hone her fishing skills and hang out. She was quite happy when the purple martin house was stowed for the winter, and took advantage of the newly available perch at the top of the purple martin house pole.

C.J. has that sexy wind-blown look to go along with her yellow bling

Are you feeling like a couple more sunrise and moonrise photos? Well, I feel like posting some!

Good morning, sunshine!

October full moon. Notice the sun has set earlier

No words needed, just enjoy and marvel at nature

As fall deepened, our beloved ospreys finally headed to their winter climes. It was time for the fall take-down of the poles, nest and cameras. As luck would have it, I was chasing the almighty dollar the day of the work party. I managed to get home for a little while, and was able to memorialize some of the day’s events.

Phil, Dean and COM readying the camera pole for take-down
The nest had to go, and Phil was wearing his gloves this year
Check out the marked stick!
The nest and the marked stick are floating off. Not sure where the plastic bag came from, must have been in the nest
The debris scatters, kind of sad. Dean plucked out the marked sticks and the plastic bag. Thank you, Dean!!

Phil and Dean’s faithful kayak, complete with trash pump for jetting the pole in and out
With the nest gone, the lines are attached to be able to safely lower the poles. The camera cannot go in the drink
COM is bringing out some equipment. The wind, weather and tides were being cooperative, which was a nice change from some other years
Down comes the camera pole. Notice the pulley system and lines, well engineered
With the camera pole down, Phil carefully keeps the camera and hopefully the junction box out of the water

The camera pole is back to the dock, allowing Phil to show off some fancy footwork
The camera end of the pole is placed in a wheelbarrow for easier transport. It doesn’t look it, but that pole and camera are incredibly heavy
The nest pole still needs to be removed. Can you see the pulley at the bottom of the platform?
Dean is getting ready to jet out the nest platform pole while Phil is getting posts ready to mark where the poles were located
Down comes the nest platform
Poles markers are going in for ease during spring installation
Back to land for the platform and kayak
The poles are all gone, and just the super duper stepladder remains to be retrieved
COM is changing out the pole markers with PVC pipe, the reddish colored ones did not work out
The work crew with the camera pole visible resting against the dock. You can see a good view of the perch on top of the pole
The nest platform will remain on the pole this winter, and rest quietly on the riprap awaiting March installation
The camera and junction box which we hoped would be functional for swan watching this winter

I had to go back to work, so wasn’t able to capture any more of the fun and missed taking the obligatory group photo. I hope you were able to get a little taste of the work it required so we are all able to enjoy our favorite osprey family. I want to extend our eternal thanks and gratitude to Phil and Dean of the Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage for their continuing support of our camera and ospreys (and our purple martins). We could not do this without them.

After the cameras were taken down in November (the new daytime tilt pan zoom camera and the infrared camera), we sent the TPZ camera back to the Explore folks for troubleshooting. As I am sure you are well aware, we did not have suitable audio this past season, although the video portion of the transmission was fabulous. We just received the camera back a couple of days ago, and are anxious to determine if the video and audio will be working this season. COM is working very hard to try to capture the last few weeks of swan season for you, so hopefully there will be some good news on that front very soon.

And yet another sunrise photo. It’s been a long winter, you know!


Have you wondered about the fate of the scraggly stick tree over the winter? We have had some ferocious winds, and weren’t sure it would make it, but the tree is still there. It is leaning precariously, but is hanging in there for the time being.

The scraggly stick tree the day of the November pole take-down

The time has come to close for now. I really wanted to get a blog published before the poles were installed this spring, and I made it! I hope you have enjoyed my better late than never words and pictures, and are looking forward to the upcoming season as much as we are here at the secret location. Hopefully the swan camera will be up and running in the next couple of days, so keep your eyes on the camera and will away those pesky highlights!

Here are my last sunrise photos of our off season. Come on, Spring!

Birds in flight just before sunrise (as Mrs. COM freezes her tushy off waiting for that golden orb)
The elusive light pillar, also known as an ice pillar.
Light pillar with a flock of seagulls. Light pillars are somewhat rare, so enjoy!

That’s it for now. 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 today. Thanks very much!

47 thoughts on “The Master Procrastinator

  1. Welcome back, Mrs. COM, your blogs have been missed! Don’t know why I’m up at this hour, but noticed my email notification, and had to gladly drop everything to read it immediately. Love all the pics, the poop shot was sneaky, but I love the real moon shots the best. Can’t get enough of them. You have such a lovely location with such fantastic views. Thanks for the shots of the disassembly of the poles, etc. It looks like hard work, and we appreciate all that you, COM, and the Conservancy personnel do to allow us to be part of the Tom and Audrey family. And thanks to the Explore folks who allow us to see it. We always enjoy your blogs, and I know it’s not easy to put one together. Another season is upon us, and as I wished at New Year’s on the chat, may our Tom and our Audrey return safely, may we have good weather, lots of fish, healthy chicks, a working camera, and a successful 2022 Season! Evelyn (lyntuck) from Macon, GA

    • Hi, Evelyn! Wow, so good to hear from you after our long hiatus! I think you may have been the first one to read my newly published blog. Your comment really made me happy, thanks for taking the time to post it. I totally concur with the last sentence of your comment, and wish for all of the same events to occur. Thanks for continuing to follow my blog and watch the camera. I look forward to sharing the season with you! Mrs. COM

    • Hi, Cynthia! Those sunrises are really amazing. It is hard to capture the splendor in a photo, but I hope you are able to get some idea of how glorious they are. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Mrs. COM

  2. I am so glad that I decided to check my email tonight and saw your post!!! I can’t tell you how relieved I was; your fans on Explore have been wondering if all was well with the COM family. With all we’ve lived through the past couple of years we were worried! Your photos are stunning as usual and your words always bring smiles and chuckles! That poop shot was indeed the best of the season! The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking and make me homesick for the east coast. Now we can wait for Tom and Audrey’s return again; I sure hope she comes back! Thanks again for all that your family does to support this beautiful nest; we sincerely appreciate all that you do – especially the blog!!! I’m so happy to hear from you that I’m going to make a donation to the Chesapeake Conservancy! Looking forward to the upcoming season!

    • Hi, Debbie! Yes, we are all alive and well, it’s just my bad procrastination habit that had you all worried. It is truly our pleasure and a labor of love to keep all things osprey going here at the secret location. It makes me so happy to read comments like yours, and really does help to keep me going when I get those procrastination blues! Thanks ever so much for taking the time to leave and comment, but most of all for continuing to be a faithful camera watcher and blog reader. Mrs. COM

  3. As always, your pictures and commentary are entertaining, educational, and enlightening. Many thanks.
    I did have to ask Google what a riprap was and as light pillars are new to me, I did a little more study on those.
    Question, how cold is the water in your undisclosed location? Does the water temperature fluctuate much throughout the year?
    Hugs to all there…

  4. As always, your pictures and commentary are entertaining, educational, and enlightening. Many thanks.
    I did have to ask Google what a riprap was and as light pillars are new to me, I did a little more study on those.
    Question, how cold is the water in your undisclosed location? Does the water temperature fluctuate much throughout the year?
    Hugs to all there…

    • Hi, there, Becky Shaw! I am expanding your horizons and keeping your brain exercised with your nature studies, happy to contribute to keeping your noggin going in the right direction! In answer to your questions, the water temperature is quite dependent on the time of year and air temperature. In the winter, the water gets down in the 30’s and 40’s. In the summer, it gets downright warm and not at all refreshing, especially when the sea nettles come to town. The temperature can get into the 80’s. Keep those questions coming! It makes me very happy to know that you are enjoying my blogs and watching the camera! ZLAM, Mrs. COM

  5. Thank you so much for your blog!!! I’m looking forward to a new season with my favorite ospreys!!! We have many here in Venice Fl but the Chesapeake ospreys are the best. Been watching since the beginning!!!!

    • Hi, Mary! Aren’t you fortunate to be able to visit with the local ospreys all year round! Venice is such a beautiful area, but we are kind of partial to the Chesapeake Bay and all it has to offer. Thanks for continuing to read my blog and watch the camera. Mrs. COM

  6. Thank you, Mrs. COM, for your latest blog. Great pictures and commentary, as we’ve become accustomed to. Hoping that 2022 will be a successful year in the land of Audrey, Tom, and the COM’s family!

    • Hi, Pa Gal! So good to hear from our faithful camera watchers and blog readers. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment, you know I love to read comments! Ditto on hoping 2022 will be a successful year here at the secret location! Mrs. COM

  7. What a wonderful surprise to wake up to, Mrs. COM! I was getting worried, but so glad to hear everyone is doing well. The blog is terrific as always, filled with great information and lots of beautiful pictures (love the sunrise shots) and of course, your wonderful humor to make us all smile and laugh! What a way to start the day! Many thanks to you and Mr. COM for all the joy you bring! Please know that your hard work does not go unappreciated. We are truly grateful for all of your efforts. Now that we know you’re okay and it’s almost time for the big return, time to get this party started !!!! 😉

    • Hi, Carrie! Sounds like a plan, let’s get the osprey party started! Thanks for the encouraging words and continuing to enjoy the camera and blogs! Here’s is a great 2022 season! Mrs. COM

    • Good evening, Linda! I am not sure I understand your comment, but we are very glad to have you as a blog reader and camera watcher. Here’s to a wonderful, drama-free 2022 season. Mrs. COM

  8. I enjoyed your blog, as always. Hard to believe we’re about to embark on another season! I have been watching Tom and Audrey since 2015. Hope they have a successful season this year. It was fun watching CJ grow up.

    • Hi, Suzanne! Thanks for being a very long time camera watcher and blog reader! We started partnering with the Chesapeake Conservancy in 2013, so you have been with us for almost the entire time! It’s always fun to hear from fans like you who are still enjoying being with us! I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Here’s to a successful 2022 season! Mrs. COM

  9. So happy to read the blog last night, glad to know CJ was seen honing it’s fishing skills and Tom was in top form demonstrating (via pop shoot) his disapproval of the invading crow, also after Audrey tricking us last year I’m looking forward to our pair’s arrival now more than ever. I love this cam and everything you do to bring it to us.

    • Good evening, sscheidt1963! Thanks for taking the time to leave us such a complimentary comment! It makes me happy to know that folks like you are enjoying the blogs and watching our camera. It is well worth all of the work knowing it is appreciated by you and our other faithful followers. All eyes will be to the sky in a couple of weeks! Here’s hoping for a trouble-free 2022 season. Mrs. COM

  10. Thank you so much for this great update!! I saw your email while on my lunch break today and had to read it right away. Wonderful pictures and your comments are always so witty! You really make me laugh. Thanks for all of your family’s hard work. It is much appreciated!! And your pictures, of the birds and sky, are stunning. Have a great day, and looking forward to next season. It will be here soon!! Thanks again!

    • Hi, Linda! Glad I could brighten up your lunch break with my pictures and witty comments (heh, heh). Comments like yours make me smile, and we all need some smiles these days! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Most of all, thanks for being a great fan of the blog and camera. Next season has started here, now all we need are the stars of the show! Mrs. COM

  11. Yay!!!! I love watching these big strong guys do their thing for nature. And very convenient for you to be at work! Perfect timing. I do have to say it’s a good thing there are a few months to get that bloody gooey table scrubbed clean by nature. Tom obviously failed to realize that, as a picnic table, all the feathered “friends” should have been invited to dine on that ginormous meal. Maybe next time. Thanks for the incredible pictures of moon, clouds and serenity. Lucky you to have swans posing for you as well! I have been watching the Iowa Eagles start this season. For some reason they always catch me by surprise. Probably all that cold and snow still pelting them (and us in Colorado). Once more, thanks for inviting us into your secret spot.

    • Hi, Verna! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your fun comment. We have been out of town for 9 days, and just returned a couple of hours ago. It is now 3:05 a.m. on Saturday, 3/5, and I just couldn’t go to bed until I responded to everyone who took the time to leave a comment while I was gone. The poles and cameras are scheduled to be installed on Monday 3/7, and wouldn’t you know it, I have to work again. I will try to be home in time to take a few, if not, one of our friends from the Chesapeake Conservancy will take some for me. We will be having some technicians from explore for the next three days, and hopefully they will be able to figure out the sound problem that plagued us last season. Thanks for much for your comment. I do love receiving them from our faithful blog readers and camera watchers. Finger crossed for the 2022 season! Mrs. COM

  12. Whew! Thank goodness you are doing ok. I am so happy to see this latest blog. You do such a great job keeping us informed on all the happenings at the secret location. Thank you so much. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Tom and Audrey’s safe return.

    • Hi, Mary! We are all keeping our fingers crossed for the safe return of our Tom and Audrey. The time is drawing very near to be seeing some of our visitors. We have been out of town for nine days (just back a couple of hours ago), so will keep our eyes open and let everyone know what we see. The poles and cameras are going up on Monday, with first-time on site help from the explore folks, so hopefully the sound problems will be fixed for this season. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Mrs. COM

  13. We so enjoy the blogs, sunrises and sunsets, and of course… the Ospreys! We live in LancasterCo, Pa. and are sooo tired of these constant high winds. We have farmers fields to West and North of our development and those winds come howling thru with each front. And another round of high winds our howling now! How much snow did you have this winter so far? Here only about a foot! The storms were your direction. Love those sunrises, scenery. Thx to all who put the show together each year and the blogs!

    • Good morning, Chip and Terri! Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out and leave a comment on my blog. I love to hear from my readers, makes me very happy. We didn’t have too much snow this year. One storm did drop about a foot, there weren’t any other very significant ones, which is fine with us. There have been seasons when COM and the crew have been putting up the poles and camera in the snow, brrr. That’s when I am very happy to be inside making the muffins to keep them going! So glad to know you are enjoying the blogs and of course, watching our ospreys! It won’t be long now! Mrs. COM

  14. Ooooh, how do I sign up for the email posts? I just come with fingers crossed and hope I find something. This is a wonderful way to kick off the new season, and I join all these others with high anticipation. (and now that I’ve scrolled down, I see how to get email notices 😉 ) Looking forward to more.

    • Hi, Anne! Thanks for signing up for emails about my blog and for reading it! Getting comments from blog readers and camera watchers really does keep me going. We are all waiting hopefully for the start of our 2022 season, our 10th one partnered with the Chesapeake Conservancy, hard to believe! Here’s hoping for a successful season with Tom and Audrey! Mrs. COM

  15. Mrs Com, Thank you for another informative and entertaining blog. Your pictures as always are so good!
    I hope to be able to follow the adventures of Audrey and Tom more often this year! How did it get to be March so quickly?? Susan

    • Hi, Susan! So happy to know that you are still with us after all these years. I was so pleased to hear from you. Thanks for continuing to be a faithful camera watcher and blog reader season after season. Here’s to a happy and healthy for all, humans and ospreys! Glad you reached out. Mrs. COM

  16. Suddenly it’s March and almost time for what we hope will be the annual return of our beloved
    Tom and Audrey. There is always anxiety as we wait, and your beautiful photos bring back the gorgeous days of last summer and what turned out to be a happy season. thank you for sharing the beauty of where you live, and, as always, reminding us of all the very hard work involved in giving us the gift of spending the summer with our ospreys.

    • Hi, Barbara! It is hard t believe that it is already March for sure! The watching and waiting has certainly begun here at the secret location. The poles and cameras will be up in a couple of days, and we are hoping for better success with our sound this season. You are so very welcome for the blog and cameras. We truly enjoy sharing our beauty with all of our faithful watchers and readers. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! Mrs. COM

    • Hi, Birdie! What a nice surprise to see you comment on my blog!! It makes me very happy to know that your are enjoying it. Here’s hoping for a safe season for our feathered friends. ZLAM, Mrs. COM

  17. Well, here it is March once again. Today’s entry in my datebook tells me to go take a look at one of my favourite (notice the “Canadian spelling”) bookmarks, Chesapeake Ospreys. What a bonanza – a February 22nd blog, more fabulous photos and plenty of comments to read! Thanks so much Mrs. COM – you’ve made my day. Looking forward as are you to the return of our great pals, the wonderful Ospreys.

    • Hi, Bob! It was wonderful to ready your comment, so happy to receive it! You have also made my day! Glad to welcome our neighbors to the north to our cadre of blog readers and camera watchers. Thanks very much for taking the time to reach out, and for enjoying our ospreys. Mrs. COM

  18. Thank you COF for the dock cam Saturday evening. Hopefully we’ll get to see some swans Sunday morning. The evening sky was certainly a sight for sore eyes with hopefully, many more lovely vistas to come. We certainly appreciate your sharing with all us landlocked folks. Things are moving along! Evelyn from Macon

    • Hi, there! We were very excited that the explore folks were able to get the dock camera up and running (except for the audio). Most of the swans have left, but there are a few still hanging around for a handout. The nest camera is attached to the pole, and hopefully will be going up tomorrow! Yes, things are moving along.

  19. Yea! The nest platform is up and we have sound! Fingers crossed 🤞there are no problems this year! Come on Tom and Audrey (our Fishing Fool and AUDREY!)

  20. Jumping the gun with a later post, Audrey went MIA after Monday April 5 and another female is hanging out on the nest with Tom, hoping you have seen her. Scott

  21. Hello Mrs. COM, I’m finally catching up to my favorite things in life, and Tom, Audrey and the blog are in my top 10. We’ve moved recently to Cecil County and we are very close to the North East and Susquehanna Rivers which extend from the Chesapeake Bay. I’m amazed how many Osprey and Eagles I see daily, along with so many other feathered friends.
    Your blog was great, the photos especially the sunrises and sunsets are magnificent, thank you so much!
    I’m so eggcited that Tom and Audrey have three eggs, they’re going to be very busy when they start hatching, I’ll be praying the weather cooperates and the fish jump out of the water into Tom’s clutches.

  22. Sorry for the delay in acknowledging that I still love the beauty of your photography of Audrey and Tom and the sunrises and sunsets!! It is nice to be spoiled with what you get to see on a daily basis! I loved the photo of Tom and the heron on the nest. We all know that Tom catches big fish so that was fun to watch also. Weird how there is always anxiety and wonder how the season will turn out from you and all your followers. Roller coaster riding keeps us on our toes. Who would have guessed the activities of this past week? Today many of us were in seventh heaven with the return of squaking Audrey and I hope you had the sound turned on high! Audrey wanted to hide from all the drama! We shall see what mother nature’s plan will be! The ospreys are more in numbers this year on Cape Cod and it was fun to watch how top of electrical poles covered to deter the osprey had the osprey still building just up higher on at least two different locations. Of course I am spoiled myself by having a grocery shopping bag made up with CJ the star of the 2021 season that I carry my camera in when I photograph ospreys here. I can’t wait to read your next blog! Adios your friend Moe from Cape Cod!

    • Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on the previous blog, Moe! It’s always good to hear from our long time friends. We are glad you are enjoying the blog and osprey camera. Mrs. COM

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