Return of the spring. You come, too.
There’s been a flurry of national attention to our south, recently, as New Hampshire Legislators decided to challenge an innocent fourth grade civics lesson. The kids sought to make the red-tailed hawk the state’s official raptor. The legislators gave them a different lesson in sausage-making on the Statehouse carpet.
But we notice that the Boothbay Region Land Trust has showcased our own Maine raptor the osprey (or fishhawk, if you prefer) in celebration of their 35th anniversary this year. Part of the logo at BRLT, the osprey is shown carrying a tasty-looking trout to its nest. As they say, spring is an ideal time to ‘grab a pair of binoculars and keep an eye out for our feathered friends returning from the south.”
A pair of osprey return around this time each year from their winter in South America to Hog Island, off Bremen, north of us in Lincoln Country. A webcam in their nest keeps the vigil. It’s quite amazing to be startled by the call of gulls when you keep the webcam running in the background on your desktop! Now that there are more than 2,000 bald eagles along the coast of Maine, rebounded from a decline that left us with fewer than a couple dozen – the herring gulls have good reason to squawk.
But that’s the nature of wildness and the gift Maine’s Rachel Carson gave us when she contemplated a Silent Spring in 1962. She also wrote “The Sea Around Us” and “The Edge of the Sea” which describe in lyrical sentences the joy to be discovered here along the waterfront on Linekin Bay – and along the trails of the Land Trust.
Spruce Point is a grand spot for discovering the sense of wonder Carson sought for children encountering the natural world: for bird-watching – and for fishing. The photo here of an osprey on her nest was posted to Pinterest from Burnt Island, just across the bay. All of these reasons bring so many of our feathered friends here from the south each summer.
Spring means weekends fluffing up the “nests,” opening up the summer spaces and bringing newly-warmed breezes (we hope!) into the cottages along the waterfront. Robert Frost wrote of those seasonal chores — clearing a pasture spring of leaves – by saying, ”I shan’t be gone long. You come, too.”
We have the binoculars out, waiting for that first car up the drive, May 22. Ospreys, eagles, you come too.