wpe49D.jpg (7152 bytes)wpe49D.jpg (7152 bytes)CREATURED
August 2000 Edition

This First Edition of Anecdotes
Is Dedicated to the Memory of
Ginny Goodrich
And the Wonderful Way She Knew Animals

Osprey's Blessing

~ Friday, August 7, 1997. Walking in the marsh, at the far end of the bridge over Pine Creek, there were a dozen boxcars, two yellow construction vehicles, and assorted men - all within 100 yards of the nesting osprey with her late baby who had not yet fledged.

wpe1B.jpg (56723 bytes)The male called out and looped overhead, then landed on a tree in the woods at the far end of the nest. Was he so upset he couldn't leave, to fish? Probably, these men were not even aware of the osprey. But state rulings prohibiting construction within 400 feet while young are in the nest.

If I said nothing, the crew could frighten the female away. She was needed, to shield the lone baby from the blazing sun. The youngster couldn't fly yet; he could fall out. And if the parents were frightened off, he could starve. At one point, the female left, calling out frantically.

Wednesday. State officials have put a hold on the construction; all of the boxcars and heavy equipment were gone, and peace restored. It was a day of perfection, hot, with a cool breeze; the sky, a rich cerulean blue, the water mauve and violet, blue, grading to a turquoise tone in the distance. Spartina and salt hay lent shades of green, chartreuse, tan, with long white dashes, like exclamation points, of dazzling great and snowy egrets. A black tiger swallowtail flew by, nearly sweeping my chest, streaming jewels; a smaller admiral frolicked among the phragmites.

wpe21.jpg (33182 bytes)The osprey called out from her nest, a long, leisurely greeting; and I felt gratitude that her child would learn to fly in peace. Soon, two more osprey appeared, circling overhead, then one headed off, and the male companion of this nesting osprey flew over the water. His wings with dark patches, distinct against cumulus, became luminous. He emanated many long-pointed rays, as if holding the sun; and the air was alive with tiny bright white atoms, which moved as if swimming through space. The joy of their being here, protected, for now, expanded my awareness; the harmony, palpable.

Note: In Summer of 1997, the osprey was listed on the Connecticut Endangered Species list as a Special Concern Species. Amtrak officials were cooperative in efforts to protect the osprey. This baby did successfully fledge. This species has since then been de-listed in Connecticut.

- Sue Holloway

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