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.

The Blue Diamond, cozy mystery, light mystery, Lynn Franklin, Osprey, Osprey Beach

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: