Monday, April 09, 2018

Waiting and Wondering

Since April 2009, this is the week - between the 10th and 13th - that the ospreys return to their nest on our property. Dependably, and amazingly. Even April 2015 when there was two feet of snow covering the ground and the river was frozen over, and April 2016 when one returned and its mate didn't show up for NINE DAYS, they still came back.
For the first time since 2009, however, there isn't a nest to return home to. We are not sure what this means, but I am prepared for the ospreys to not return. Why else would they allow the nest to become so ramshackle that the LEAST worst winter in ten years could decimate it?
Unless -
Here's my theory: The River Philip's eagle population is very healthy so perhaps the ospreys are smarter than we realize, and didn't want to leave an intact nest behind in case an eagle decided to appropriate it - which they are known to do. We'll know this week whether this theory is sound, or if the ospreys, somehow and for some reason we'll never know, simply decided not to return to our property this year.

And we thought the nest was in bad shape at the beginning of spring last year...

...but the ospreys quickly rebuilt it when they returned, and eventually hatched out three babies, and avoided the devastating eagle attacks of the summer of 2015.
We aren't ready to be empty-nesters. We want our neighbours to return; it won't be summer without their familiar cries from the pole. 
Nature is so hard on the heart. I just want babies around - fawns and kits and chicks and cubs - and no one eating each other. Is that too much to ask?
(And while I'm at it, stay off the freakin' road.)

You can read about our early adventures with the ospreys in Field Notes, in the essay called, "The Blessing of the Ospreys".  This photo is from April 12, 2010 - the summer of the ospreys that inspired the essay - as the first to arrive waits and wonders.

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