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 one 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 movie mode. 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?
You tell me: