It was windy today as I headed down to the beach. Not ocean breeze windy, it was stand your hair on end windy. I zipped my jacket up to my chin, grabbed my camera and set off down the hill.
The winds stirred up the whitecaps like frothy whipped cream and the surfers seemed to have taken the afternoon off. The skies were blue with billowy clouds in the distance. I walked briskly, scanning the shoreline for interesting photo possibilities.
As I walked further south a bird caught my eye. I watched the bird–seemingly in suspended animation–riding the wind current, but staying in place. It seemed almost to hover high above me. I kept watching and took a few photos, knowing that my lens was not powerful enough to really capture a good picture. After watching it hover and adjust, and then spread its wings a bit further so that it caught the light just right, I realized that this wasn’t a gull or tern. This was a large raptor…an osprey!
I kept watching in wonder at the strength it must take to fly in place, when suddenly the bird appeared closer, and much larger. I kept taking photos as the bird seemed to fall from the sky! (I’m thinking of you and your duck, Molly!)
I continued to watch and snap photos as the osprey dropped into the sea and then rose…with something gripped in its powerful talon. I watched it swoop and circle and rise, snapping all the way. I continued to watch as it flew down the beach, fish in hand, away from the way I was walking. I didn’t stop to look at my photos, but I was hoping I had taken a photo that somehow captured my experience.
A couple of miles later when I returned to the car, I was still thinking about the osprey and its snack. I sat and looked through my photos–and gasped when I saw this one. It’s far from perfect, but it does capture some of the magic and majesty I witnessed! (All photos are unfiltered and unedited…for now!)