I hope the fond memories of time spent with friends and loved ones this past weekend will warm your heart during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
If you’re lucky, you’ll avoid crunch time as Christmas approaches if you bought all your presents on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or were hunched over your computer today snagging deals for Cyber Monday while munching the last turkey and stuffing sandwich smeared with leftover cranberry sauce.
A few fellow bloggers recently wrote about a change of venue for holiday get-togethers, from their home to the homes of their offspring. Was this the case for your family as well?
So how do YOU define home?
No matter the street address, for humans, home is where the heart is, right? For others, maybe home is where you hang your hat at the end of the day.
This post about our feathered friends, will give you an amusing look at where this Osprey family defines home, but first here’s a little backstory.
I was ecstatic that eagle sightings …
… were a possibility on this boat tour/adventure.
Back in August of 2018 I took a two-hour Metroparks riverboat cruise. The event entitled “Eagle’s Eye Nature Cruise” was geared toward viewing the existing International Wildlife Refuge (as well as the then, still in-progress revitalized Humbug Marsh) and some of the Detroit River’s many uninhabited islands. The highlight of the cruise was Bald Eagles’ nests and maybe a glimpse at a Bald Eagle, all from your seat on a riverboat. It was a fun experience and if you care to read about it, just click here.
Unfortunately, the nests were not visible through the leaves and the guests of honor, i.e. the Bald Eagles, were nowhere to be found.
Our Metroparks interpretive guide was apologetic for the lack of eagles, citing moulting season and our eagle friends being out of sorts, but mentioned that if we were still keen to see some raptors, as we exited the park, we should glance up at the siren at the Brownstown Fire Station located on the fringe of the park.
Unbelievably, for four years I kept forgetting to make that pit stop to view the nest. Usually by the time I’ve had a half-day of walking around this 1,607-acre (6.50 km) site with its three-mile shoreline, I’m ready to head home and welcome the half-hour ride to just sit down.
On the Sunday of 4th of July weekend I finally remembered ….
It was serendipity that I was walking to my car on that sunny day when a shadow passed over me. I know there are a nesting pair of Bald Eagles at Lake Erie Metropark, which I’ve yet to see in the nearly five years of visiting this venue. I quickly looked up to see an Osprey silently gliding overhead. I watched it alight in a tree, then quickly soar back into the sky, a few sticks in its beak. I hustled to the car hell bent on seeing the Osprey family and their twiggy digs.
Nest Sweet Nest.
After driving through the park, I exited and just down the road was the fire station. I parked and gazed up. The sun was not going to be my friend here and I knew I would be shooting blindly into the sun, but before I would leave an hour later, clouds rolled in. Also, it was a hot and sticky day and initially I thought “well you know where it is now, so just come back when it’s a bit cooler and the sun won’t meddle with these shots.”
But common sense was set aside when I glimpsed the Osprey heading out, so I stayed anyway. I was feeling lucky to finally view the nest, yet I saw no young’uns from my vantage point, just a very large Osprey returning repeatedly to its home with a beak filled with twigs. Just like an eagle’s nest, there is always room for renovation with supplemental sticks.
A burning question for me is doesn’t the siren’s loud blare scare the bejeebers out of the Osprey chicks? Hmm.
I won’t use captions under the photos now that you know the story, so just enjoy the photos.
(Header photo is from Chris Norman on Pinterest; the rest of the photos are my own)