Thursday, August 14, 2008

Out of the Ordinary

As is often the case, it is context that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.



Much, in fact most, of August in southwest Ohio could be described in just two words—hot and humid. But on the rare occasion of a pleasantly sunny day, we hoist the canoe on top of the car and head out.
The Water is waiting.


Last weekend, a return to Paint Creek, where steep limestone cliffs stand opposite shallows rimmed with willows. On these long muddy flats, the shorebirds wade, probing the soft ground with long slender bills, walking with widely splayed toes on long yellow legs. Killdeer scurry as we approach the shore, but the ground is soft here—too soft for even the gentlest step of anyone larger.


Above the cliffs a Red-shouldered Hawk rides a warm breeze upward, lifted in the thermal until he becomes a speck against the blue. His cries continue until we see nothing.


From bare branches ahead another large form rises, silhouetted against the brightness, nothing more than a dark shape, circling overhead.

On long wings he dives, striking the water with his talons, and returns to the sky.
Who is this?

Last summer, in Maine, we saw them too, at the coast, from kayaks paddling along our northern rocky shores. Sitting atop huge nests in dense evergreens.
The wildness of that land suits them well.
Here, I would not expect them.

But, yet, here they are.
Another one joins him and they circle.


A pair of ospreys.
Extraordinary.


From the State of Ohio Department of Natural Resources site:
"Ospreys were once a common sight throughout North America, but habitat destruction, persecution and the wide-spread use of chemical pesticides such as DDT during the middle of the twentieth century led to a drastic population decline. In Ohio, the last successful osprey nest was recorded at Grand Lake St. Mary's in western Ohio in 1913."

A reintroduction program was started in 1996.
"The numbers of nesting pairs has continually risen since the program began in 1996 with a record 27 nests in 2004. Natural nests are now found in 18 counties and have produced over 150 chicks that successfully fledged since 1996. The future looks bright for this state-endangered bird as catching glimpses of this magnificent fisher become much more common."




See more Skywatch here.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

50 comments:

bobbie said...

A gorgeous series, Nina. Really wonderful.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Nice photos.

Bradley Myers said...

Looks like fun, nice photos.

Carletta said...

Those skies over the water are gorgeous!
I so enjoyed this post.

Old Wom Tigley said...

One bird amongst many I would love to see.. we do get them over here and at time migrants and young adults are spotted nearby but alas I have never seen one.. Sky Watch as many benifits if you love your wildlife and birds.

Pearl Maple said...

Love it when bloggers take us on tour and tell us the story with lots of lovely photos to admire. A beautiful scene.

Yen said...

I love everything here! that first one is really romantic looking:) I'd love to go there now!

Greenenvelope said...

I love the really blue sky and one bird is flying! That is a winner!:)

freshaircabin said...

Your photos are beautiful. The first shot and the birds are really stunning!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

It's a joy to visit your blog... every time! Thanks for taking us along on your lovely canoe trip for this Sky Watch.

Mrs. Darcy said...

Nice pictures, all of them!

Juliana RW said...

beautiful sky series you have

My SWF : Up and Down Thanks

Ivar Ivrig said...

Nice pictures and beautiful colors

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Beautiful photos... you have such a talent ... I am impressed.
Mountain Retreat

Petunia said...

Lovely shots:)

Kelly said...

Great set of photos! I would say extraordinary on all of these photos!!

dguzman said...

Such striking colors!

imac said...

Beautiful ride on your canue.

RuneE said...

I hope they get the magnificent birds back - one species lost is one too many.

Carole said...

Terrific photos and post.

Kathiesbirds said...

I can't believe the blues in these photos! Wonderful! How nice to have the osprey's returning!

juliana said...

i very much enjoyed the ride with you. gorgeous photos

Whitney said...

What a gorgeous bunch of photos and a really great post to read! It looks like such a beautiful river to canoe on....and the osprey picture is amazing!! You have a really great blog!

Donna said...

Nice shots! I kept looking for...Emma!! Wonderful!

Lilli & Nevada said...

what gret set of photos

Angie said...

I'm almost lost for words, almost, not quite though.This is simply superb.

Kim said...

Looks like you had a wonderful canoe trip. I especially like that first photo, so bright and sunny.

Texas Travelers said...

Great post and terrific photos. We enjoyed going along on the canoe ride. It was refreshing.

Thanks for sharing.

Come visit our Rainbows, Click here.
Troy and Martha

Photo Cache said...

i really love blue skies and puffy clouds. this is heaven just watching your pictures.

Arija said...

Is there room for one more in your canoe? Love your lake shot and am also trigger happy with birds.

Suzanne said...

These photos are all so beautiful. I love how you have placed the boat in the 1st one. You can put yourself in the photo and imagine that you are canoeing up the lake. The sky at the end is so inviting. Happy SWF.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Wow! I love this series of pictures. The tranquility and your words were breathtaking and relaxing. Thank you.

babooshka said...

So many, but they all show the ever changing fabulous sky.

Raven said...

How lovely to go boating with you! These are all lovely but the first and sixth (I think - the one with the tree branch growing out of the water) are my favorites. That osprey is pretty cool too.

Leora said...

Thanks for the lovely tour.

Christy said...

Wonderful sky photos. I am looking forward to going on a canoe trip here in the somewhat near future. Great bird sightings.

Rambling Woods said...

Thank you, I felt I was right there with you...

scienceguy288 said...

What a great trip you must have had. Nothing is more relaxing than a canoe (I prefer kayaking) ride down a river on a calm summer day.

Nita said...

Beautiful photos! Mine is up as well. Hope to see you there.

Have a great weekend!
Nita

scienceguy288 said...

Ok, so I know that this is probably not the correct post to ask you about this, but oh well. I want to purchase a set of Merrells. Now, I personally wanted some ankle support, but the mid height ones seem to go really high and limit your movement. Any suggestions?

piedmontperspective said...

Thank you for the virtual canoe trip, I'm very relaxed now. Great SWF photos!

nina said...

Scienceguy--I have mid high merrells.
I couldn't be happier with them. I thought they might feel constricting or overheat because most of our hiking is in warm temps, but I have the ventilated/goretex combination. They keep my feet cool and dry. And the footbed is just right for the contour of my foot. We enjoy scrambling over rocks, too--the added support of a mid-high is perfect for uneven surfaces.

My husband just (tonite!) bought merrells low hikers, goretex, ventilated. He's never liked the higher styles.

I feel more sure-footed with them, tho.
I guess it's what you're used to and the use you'll give them.
Good luck!

Mary said...

Great, Nina. Makes me want to buy a canoe. Those blue shots are amazing...so peaceful there.

Mary said...

Great, Nina. Makes me want to buy a canoe. Those blue shots are amazing...so peaceful there.

Greg said...

What a soothing and wonderful journey--thanks for making room for us on the floor of your canoe!

coolwaterworks said...

Great, great pictures! And nice verses!

I'm adding you in my blog roll... :)

pts said...

i love your pic!

John said...

An awesome series!

Torsdag said...

wonderful nature an beautiful sky

Susan Gets Native said...

Any post with raptors in it is a good post.
: )
For those who can't tell a red-tailed hawk or vulture from a osprey: Osprey look like flying "M"'s. They bend their wings forward at the wrist in flight.

So ends Susan's Education Corner.