Friday, April 16, 2010


This osprey lives on a creek down Redart, Virginia, home of the Mathews Yacht Club and not much else.

Osprey dine on freshly-caught fish. When they aren't sitting on their nests--usually in a tall riverside tree, on a man-made platform (like the one above) or atop a channel marker --they spend their days swirling over creeks, rivers and ponds in search of their next meal.

When they spot their target, they forcefully apply their air brakes, beat their wings, and hover in place before swooping down to pluck their prey from the water. Then they take off in flight with the live fish clutched in their claws as they transport dinner back to the nest.

This sounds easy, but imagine trying to take off in flight from the water bearing the additional weight of a very unhappy, wriggling fish who is desperately struggling to get away.

For that matter, imagine being a fish minding your own business in a tranquil underwater world. One minute you're casually blowing bubbles while checking out the new fish in town. The next thing you know you're plucked from the water into another universe, suspended from talons as you fly over Queens Creek on your way to the lion's den osprey's nest, where you'll be pecked and eaten alive.

Fish anyone?

Recently two osprey stories have appeared in the Gazette Journal.

The first talks about the pond near the Old Mill Skating Rink, where osprey like to do the hokey pokey and they turn themselves around, that's what it's all about to fish. Unfortunately for them, though, Route 14, also known as the Gloucester-Mathews Intercoastal Pedal to the Medal Speedway, runs very close to where they fish. Many have been struck by cars as they attempt to ascend in flight with the wriggling fish weighting them down, impairing their ability to control their flight path.

In an effort to dissuade the birds from flying across the Indianapolis Speedway Route 14, nets have been strung up, but I don't think these are working very well.

This week, there was an article about a nest catching on fire at VIMS (the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, where one of my readers works). An osprey nest on top of a telephone/electrical pole evidently teetered off its perch and tumbled onto the wires igniting a blaze.

Scrambled eggs anyone?

The following groups were called to the scene of the fire, which severely damaged the osprey's ego the pole and the nest:

* Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue brush truck
* Medic unit
* Six fire/rescue personnel
* Dominion Virginia Power (aka Vepco)

The osprey, who squawked, "I'm blowin' this popsicle stand!" came away unscathed and was last seen heading hurriedly towards the vicinity of Redart, where she was told there was nothing to bother her except those loud parties and class reunions at the Yacht Club.

On this Friday, a few questions:
* Do you have any osprey stories or observations?
* Have you ever heard the expression, "Let's blow this popsicle stand"?
* Has anyone (from around here) been to the Yacht Club for anything other than the salt-water swimming pool a high school reunion?
* Did you know that three months from today, we'll be in the throes of Blog Fest 2010?
* Am I the only one tired of these questions yet?


Ann Marie said...

On this Friday, YOU MADE IT VERY EASY FOR ME WITH a few questions:
* Do you have any osprey stories or observations? TONS... where shall I start.. aka Fish Hawks... and I could sit with Mrs Trusch and listen to her go on and on about them.. I need to take her a picture I took of some or one or more than one but in different shots.

* Have you ever heard the expression, "Let's blow this popsicle stand"? Of course.. but some of my friends haven't.. cause went I said it they replied with.. Don't you meant joint to which I said you don't BLOW a joint you inhale.. I mean .. oh nevermind.

* Has anyone (from around here) been to the Yacht Club for anything other than the salt-water swimming pool a high school reunion? Yes yes.. a wedding reception and a LONG time ago dinner for something which was weird who eats there.. and some people I knew had a boat there or something.. see the first question could help you understand why I don't remember.

* Did you know that three months from today, we'll be in the throes of Blog Fest 2010? In 3 months I will be 39.. so shut up please.

* Am I the only one tired of these questions yet? I never get tired of you.. maybe tired of the fact I will be 39 in exactly 3 months and STILL out of shape and too large.. maybe it was the munchies that caused this!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

AM- Mrs. Trusch turns 90 next week. I received an e-mail with her address at the nursing home if people want to send cards. I will probably do a mini-post on her and put up the info. What an incredible lady.

39 is young. You're still a toddler.

Jamie said...

Love ospreys, one of my favoritest birds. There used to be a nest over on the other side of Sturgeon Creek that we would make sure we checked out every summer. The tree fell down so no more nest. There's also a nest on one of the light poles at the Deltaville Ballpark and they sometimes leave fish carcasses for the unsuspecting outfielder.

Yes, heard that expression before, though usually involves the word joint. I've never inhaled

Never been to the Yacht club.

Woo whoo blogfest! I think I might be the youngest one there.

I never tire of questions, except THE most annoyingest question EVER- WHY? when coming from the 4 year old

deborah said...

Replied, then clicked on publish...server can't be found.
My day in a nutshell so far.
Gonna blow this popsicle stand for a while me thinks:)

Caution Flag said...

I'm not sure I can correctly spell osprey. Then again, I'm slightly nutty because the nest on fire made me laugh.

I missed 3 thing Thursday again! I'm sorry :(

big hair envy said...

I LOVE the expression, "Let's blow this popsicle stand"!! Unfortunately, many folks have never heard it before, and they tend to look at me funny when I say it:/

Honestly, Blog Fest can't get here soon enough to suit me!!!

Trisha said...

No Osprey stories. I have heard of the expression before. I personally like it quite a lot but no one around my neck of the woods uses it. Rats!

Breezeway said...

Oh I love ospreys! However that particular osprey from VIMS (I ASSUME it's the same one because it was the only nest I could find close to my house!) had been causing havoc and discontent every morning for a month! The screechingest bird I have ever heard! (rhyming gets extra points right?) But I do love them and I hate to see nests lost for any reason!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Nope never heard that saying before. So of course I had to google it. Here's what I found.

Legend has it that this term was first coined in the 1940's by a Jamaican named Antoine Cleo. Antoine Cleo believed that filling the area of a popsicle with deadly radiation, could be used against certain countries as biological warfare. He believed that the radiation had certain brainwashing chemicles inside of it and that placing the popsicles at stands at random areas could allow more people to buy the popsicles, thus was his plan for world domination.

However, his plans were soon foiled when a strange cult called the Kindred Spirits (The Cult leader was Later identified as a man named Dushka Deshvky) blew up all the popsicle stands in America, including killing the perpetrator, Antoine Cleo.

"Lets blow this popsicle stand" was then started as an inside joke between 4 teenagers, then it spread throughout the United States, the phrase from then on meant, "Lets get out of here fast, before something bad happends to us."

Now maybe after hearing this, we can walk away a little wiser about what this phrase means.
Source: Evil minds of the 1900's.

But I have seen my share of ospreys and gulls and fiddler crabs. OK I'm shutting up now.

Daryl said...

* There was an osprey nest in Riverside Park last summer. I am hoping the tenants will be back this year cause all I got was a shot of a bunch o'twigs
* Have you ever heard the expression, "Let's blow this popsicle stand"? I have. But not in a long long long long long long time.

* Did you know that three months from today, we'll be in the throes of Blog Fest 2010? Yes, I did .. I am actually counting the days...

* Am I the only one tired of these questions yet? Not me.

WV Rooskte .. this is Russian for rooster .. or maybe its Serbian... or maybe ..

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

I don't have an osprey story, but I can tell you that a small wren has built a nest on a shelf in my carport and laid three eggs there. I'm afraid I will startle her and she'll fly at me and peck my eyes out. Mamas are protective that way.

I have also heard that expression before. I know not when; it's always been there. Maybe I read it in a comic or something.

Three months??? GAH, what am I gonna wear???

Mrs F with 4 said...

1. Nope.
2. Nope.
3. *sob*
4. Never.

wv: comar - Mrs F is in a cleaning-and-tidying comar. She will doubtless soon wake and be back to her normal marginally less catatonic state.

Anonymous said...

Not really a story about ospreys, but when I started my job about 2 years ago, all the passwords on my computer were "osprey1". I've never changed them.

Have only driven by the Yacht Club. Even though I spent a lot of time at Gwynn's Island as a teen, never knew about a Yacht Club. I was talking to a woman who worked at the consignment store in Mathews and she mentioned that her daughter lifeguarded so my friend and I rode over there and saw a bunch of old folks all dressed up for dinner. Only restaurant in Mathews where I've seen coats and ties.

foolery said...

Ospreys and I have a lot in common. We both spend our days swirling around convenience stores, cart vendors and refrigerators in search of our next meals.

I have some osprey stories -- not THAT good, of course -- because there are 2-3 nests down by the river road; on my way to and from work I watch them, every day.

BUT a buzzard did the same thing in the pasture behind my house a few years ago. He touched two wires with his very broad wingspan and LOOTICUTED hisself (the firemen saif there was a deep-fried buzzard beneath the pole) and started a huge wild fire in the (oily) berry bushes. It was a big deal. It was an even bigger deal for the buzzard.

YAY BlogFest! Care if I wear my propeller hat?

Shoot, now I need to go buy a propeller hat.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Anonymous - What an excellent observation and how true: the Yacht Club IS the only place in Mathews where people wear a coat and tie to eat.

We never made it down the Yacht Club way much because we were always at the Islander's pool in the summers. (Mathews locals could join the Yacht Club or the Islander for pool memberships only.)

Thanks, everyone, for commenting. I'm worn out due to [insert here a string of tasks, projects, and child-related events plus two to three hours roasting in the sun at a lacrosse game and a myriad other things) so probably wont' be on here much this weekend, but just know that I always appreciate your comments. They truly sustain me.