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Friday, July 1, 2016



I am out of the office, so here is another re-run from July 2013 with a hint at where I am hiding.

 On the beach at Lavallette, New Jersey, I have been fascinated watching the Ospreys.  Ospreys are large raptors.  They live on a diet of 99 percent fish.  I used to see them a lot while visiting my parent’s home on the Eastern Shore Md., but have not seen them on the Jersey Shore until this year.

What has struck me while watching these birds is the patience they have, and also the boredom that is their existence.  It is not much different from most wild creatures, but just more obvious while observing their behavior.

I worked a fairly boring job for 40 years.  Up early, drive to the train, get to work, work, catch the train home, eat, play with kids, sleep and start over.  At least I had a change of pace on weekends and vacations.

The Osprey and his mate are up early every morning. They fish nonstop until sundown, constantly soaring over the ocean up and down the coast.  They do not stop.  They have three little ospreys to feed.  I seldom see them dive for fish.  In two weeks I have seen them dive 5 times and catch 4 fish.  They are good, but sometimes they miss.  I’m sure they have caught more fish without me watching, but trust me they are patient.

The ospreys get no sick days, no mental health days, no vacation days, they just fish every day and if they do not catch any fish they will die.   I used to think I was pressured to work, but if I missed a day, my children would not starve.  The osprey must catch fish.

I have been watching a pair of ospreys for two weeks. Today there were five.  I think the babies are out of the nest.  They are learning to fish.  They better learn fast. Their skill is considerable and if they do not learn, they will die.  Fish, catch, or starve.

Sitting on the beach watching, I think my life is pretty good.

My cousin Nils sent me this video on the osprey.  It is pretty amazing.


  1. That was an amazing video! The osprey made it look so "easy" especially with the last fish it caught. Beautiful birds. We would see a few flying where we used to walk the dog; always magnificent to watch.

    Enjoy your time at the shore.


  2. I was mesmerized by the video. So powerful.

    I too have a pretty good life.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

  3. I suppose it would be tough to have a sense of existential angst if you had to constantly be so focused on finding fish.

    "What am I doing with my life? Am I making a difference?"

  4. That last fish looked a little heavy!!

  5. Pretty much the zeitgeist of the founding pioneers.

  6. It's nice to have food in the fridge and not have to go out and get more every single day.

  7. an interesting perspective on living...

  8. The video was incredible. That osprey was an awesome fish catcher. Even did it with one claw. Didn't look boring to me.
    Got a feeling you are heading for the beach. Have a great 4th.

  9. Enjoy your shore-cation! Don't let Shark Week intimidate you. I have been sitting on the porch watching a puppy. He has it a lot easier than those osprey offspring.

  10. Nature can be a harsh taskmaster. Animals work hard to earn their survival. In comparison I feel like a lazy oaf.

  11. We have a lot of ospreys around here. They are fascinating to watch!

  12. When I was still keeping some of the trout I caught (still do, actually) I've had osprey fly off with a stringer of three or four trout dangling beneath them. They are pretty common in Montana along the Clark Fork near me.
    Have a good forth,

  13. They are remarkable creatures.

  14. Is there room on that beach for me? I haven't seen the ocean in a couple of months.

  15. Sob... I couldn't get the video to play. I liked your post on the Ospreys, though. Beautiful birds.

  16. I have never seen one before. Quite amazing.


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