Sometimes Nature provides the most amazing surprises.
The ospreys who nest in North Beach, Maryland — and inspired the name for my fictional Osprey Beach community — returned early this year. Being a fan, I lost no time in hauling Mom (visiting from Pittsburgh) to the boardwalk to welcome the magnificent pair.
Okay, so I also had an ulterior motive: I wanted to try out my new Canon camera with the extra-long digital zoom. I enjoyed that zoom all winter, using it as binoculars as well as a way to capture bald eagles, barred owls and romping poodles on film … er, pixels? Hmmm…
Anyway, as I was snapping still photos, the female osprey started screeing. I just love that sound, so I immediately switched to moviemode. She fell quiet. Back to still photos. She screed. Movie mode. The bird just sat there, not making a sound.
Frustrated, I zoomed in as tight as I could and continued in movie mode. But she never uttered another cry — at least not while I was filming a movie.
So imagine my surprise when I returned home, loaded the images onto my computer — and discovered that the last film actually captured the osprey laying an egg!
Were the cries labor pains? Curses at the bird gods? Demands for a pickle?
So what do you think she’s saying? Does seeing this make you marvel about the natural world? Or glad you don’t have to lay eggs?
And isn’t this the best video for a series of mysteries that take place in Osprey Beach?