Behold the Osprey

ORLANDO — Take a moment to enjoy my favorite Florida critter, the Osprey — the only aquatic bird of prey native to the entire world. When out on the lakes in my home town, watching these phenomenal creatures always makes me jealous. When they fly, they don’t have to buy a plane ticket (or a fishing license).

Me this weekend at Lakeridge Vineyards, Clermont FL

For those who think we’re just about theme parks, we collect your tourist taxes, laugh our asses off, and go fishing.

66 thoughts on “Behold the Osprey”

  1. Woo hoo. I’d rather go to a fish camp than a theme park any day! Better yet a vineyard. 😉

  2. httpv://

    Sunday Serendipity.
    Its Sunday, the weather is perfect, and the holidays are almost upon us. Time to celebrate. I’m in a trumpet state of mind today. 😉 Enjoy!

  3. lest we forget our dinner guest of honor this week, the turkey, a bird of courage according to

    Franklin’s Letter to His Daughter (excerpt)

    “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

    “With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…

    “I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

  4. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

    old ben describes the first vulture capitalist

  5. Any time spent fishing is considered free and not deducted from your life expectancy.

    Full ballots will be forthcoming once nominations take place on January 10, but in the meantime here is a less that three minute entertaining film of what you should have seen or still must see in preparation.


  6. Any time spent fishing is considered free and not deducted from your life expectancy.


    The only logical conclusion to be drawn from this, is that one should spend one’s life fishing. 😉

    Craig are you getting all this?

  7. Personally, I’m tired of seeing republican hand wringing.

    Couldn’t they just use their hands for masturbating?
    They’d feel better, and we wouldn’t have to watch.

    Its a win win.

  8. Sunday AM, MSNBC. Chris Hayes is leading a panel discussion about labor actions by Wal-Mart workers.

    Since the 1950s, corporations have been systematically and relentlessly undermining their own workers in the never-ending search for more profits. Now, the labor movement seems to be getting new energy.

    Obama will be no help. He cynically uses the unions to get out the vote and then walks away from them. Remember Wisconsin? The right of collective bargaining was taken away from public sector workers, and where was Obama? He never went there, not even to give ONE speech in favor of labor.

  9. When I first vistited Florida I watched pelicans catch fish. A manatee came right up to the dock.

  10. first time I went to florida, ’53 or there-about, rode on a glass-bottom boat thru Silver Springs looking at monkees in the trees, and went to the “Crazy House” a little frame building built on the side of a hill in such a way that a ball would seemingly roll up hill and standing in a doorway you’d be standing diagonally in it which made for weird pictures.

    I remember being extremely hot the whole time.

  11. I LOVE raptors. But my favorite Florida critter is a manatee… don’t get to see them in NH.

    I also love looking at the water and seeing the ends of rays’ wings (or whatever they’re called) all of sudden stick up and out.

    Craig… even though I like to tease you about the politics of your beloved state… I LOVE visiting it.

  12. My favorite of all John Steinbeck’s writings is about ospreys. He called it “My War with the Ospreys” but he ended up admiring them as does Craig. :)

  13. Faire, i missed that Steinbeck piece along the way, must look it up

    RR, et al — if they made me governor no trail mixers would pay any sales tax when they visit

  14. XR,

    U keep asking me about my sources concerning the Litani River waters that the Israeli neocons covet so much.:

    There are many. U know how finding one song on u-tube leads to another?…well thats the same when U start looking into the water wars in the middle east; one has to connect the dots; but there is plenty of proof.

    U never seem to like my sources…..Stephan Hawkings, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris. I try to site my favorite people that I read. Most of them Jewish. You even say that my favorite Philosopher Spinoza not good enough for you….I think that You say/ make them out to be traitors .

    But U do like to make out like the Bible is the true source of history…..lets start there: In the book of myths we, I posted to Sturge about the Biblical wars that are described……they are a hand book for war that has even been used in modern times……in the war with Egytpt, tanks were taken over water during the night…and this information that was duplicated from a bible war…….won the day….make that night.

    Since biblical times, water has played a role in the history of the
    Mideast, although issues of water conflict and cooperation have become
    especially intense with the growing nationalist feelings and populations
    of this century. These issues are also relevant to the current impassesparticularly
    between Israel and the Palestinians on the West Bank.
    Living as they do in a transition zone between Mediterranean
    subtropical and arid climates, the people in and around the Jordan watershed
    have always been aware of the limits imposed by scarce water
    resources. Settlements sprang up in fertile valleys or near large, permanent
    wells, and trade routes were established from oasis to oasis. Even in
    biblical times, variations in water supply had their impact on the region’s
    history. It was drought, for example, that drove Jacob and his family to
    Egypt, an event which led them to work and fight for them and, finally, to the birth of
    the Israelite nation 400 years later.

    Even then the waters of the Jordan
    were occasionally intertwined with military strategy as, for instance,
    when Joshua directed his priests to stem the river’s flow with the power of

    Genesis 41

    the Ark of the Covenant while he and his army marched across the dry
    riverbed to attack Jericho.

    Holy shit Batman…..just like that dude…..whats his name….oh yeah Moses.

    That’s the start of it all, we even have entire maps of what the holy land MUST, MUST INCLUDE all lands that are in the bible map , Just like when Prs Polk included the US boundry lines all the way to the Rio Grande….Just Grande lies, why is it that the people of brown skin are not good enough to live on their own lands?? Oh yes….Might Makes Right….more to come

  15. In this century, with the developing nationalism of both Arabs
    and Jews and subsequent population pressures, water has continued to be
    a critical strategic resource. When, after the first Zionist Congress in Basle
    in 1895, the idea of creating a Jewish State in Palestine, which by then had
    been under Ottoman rule for 400 years, began to crystallize in the plans of
    European Jewry, Theodore Herzl, considered the father of modem Zionism,
    traveled to the region to see what practical possibilities existed. In
    Jerusalem, Herzl met with the German Kaiser, whose influence with the
    Sultan he sought to enlist. Barbara Tuchman describes the meeting outside
    the Mikveh Israel colony:
    The Kaiser rode up, guarded by Turkish outriders,
    reigned in his horse, shook hands with Herzl to the
    awe of the crowd, remarked on the heat, pronounced
    Palestine a land with a future, “but it needs water,
    plenty of water,” shook hands and rode off.”
    After World War I, the area came under British and French influence,
    but the Kaiser’s advice must have hit home. In 1917, England issued
    the Balfour Declaration, pledging a Jewish National Home in Palestine. In
    1919, when Great Britain and France sat down at Versailles to divide up
    the area, Zionist planners urged that the boundaries of the Jewish state
    extend northward to the Litani River and include all of the headwaters of
    the Jordan. Chaim Weizmann, later Israel’s first president, wrote to British
    Prime Minister David Lloyd George that, “the boundaries cannot be
    drawn exclusively on historic lines … our claims to the north are imperatively
    demanded by the requirements of modern economic life

    More to come….almost there…maybe not the proof that u want…but there is plenty of it.!!

  16. ……. reading 2006???somewhere/when Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon …its aims to force the Lebanese Government to send troops south to guard the border between Lebanon and Israel. the bombardment from Israel will continue said?……..the neocons Fortunately, the UN decided to begin the process of deploying UN peacekeepers along the border between Israel and Lebanon – in order to help meet the war demands of Israel. The border would be secure, attacks would be prevented and Israel could stop bombing Lebanese towns, cities, roads, bridges, petrol stations, airports, power stations and civilian vehicles. At the moment it sounds like a valid move to stop the escalation of an already overheated war… But, strangely no… Israel made it clear that there will be no deployment of UN forces in the south of Lebanon. Israel most probably had their eye on the waters of the Litani river, I discovered that this present conflict could possibly be part of a plan to fool the International community and secure the borders of a greater (map in the bible) irsrael…..????

    This is the Map of Greater Israel submitted by the World Zionist Organization soon after the end of WWI. The “Jewish state” was founded on an ancient Biblical map, and Israel still refused to declare its borders in favor of future expansion.

    The Biblical map, extends its borders around the occupied West Bank (including occupied East Jerusalem), occupied Gaza Strip, southern Lebanon, the western parts of Jordan, and southern Syria including the occupied Golan Heights.

    Ben-Gurion “had a dream” to annex southern Lebanon to the “Jewish state”, and to establish a Christian state north of the Litani River. ‘The Muslims rule of Lebanon is artificial and easily undermined. A Christian state ought to be set up whose southern borders would be Litani River. Then we’ll form an alliance with it.” In the coming years he repeated this idea, and according to Moshe Sharett, Moshe Dayan (who was Israeli’s chief of staff in the early 1950s) responded favorably to this idea and who according to Sharett said: “In his [Dayan] view, all we need to do is to find a Christian Lebanese officer, perhaps no higher than a captain, and win him over or buy him with money, so that he would declare himself the savior of Maronite population. Then the Israel army would enter Lebanon, occupy the territory in question and establish a Christian government which would form an alliance with Israel.” Sharett himself considered this an “awful” idea.

    Ben-Gurion clearly never believed in static borders, but dynamic ones as described in the Bible. He stated during a discussion with his aides: “Before the founding of the state, on the eve of its creation, our main interests was self-defense. To a large extent, the creation of the state was an act of self-defense. Many think that we’re still at the same stage. But now the issue at hand is conquest, not self-defense. As for setting the borders – it’s an open-ended matter. In the Bible as well as in our history, there all kinds of definitions of the country’s borders, so there’s no real limit. No border is absolute. If it’s a desert – it could just as well be the other side. If it’s sea, it could also be across the sea. The world has always been this way. Only the terms have changed. If they should find a way of reaching other stars, well then, perhaps the whole earth will no longer suffice.”…….

    Its all about AIPAC:

    AIPAC leverages its power by an alliance with the Christian Right, which has adopted a bizarre ideology of “Christian Zionism.” It holds that the sooner the Palestinians are ethnically cleansed, the sooner Christ will come back. Without millions of these Christian Zionist allies, AIPAC would be much less influential and effective.

    The Founding Fathers of the United States deeply feared that a foreign government might gain this level of control over a branch of the United States government, and their fears have been vindicated.

    The situation has reached comedic proportions. Congress is always drafting letters to the president, based on AIPAC templates, demanding that lopsided U.S. policy in favor of Israel be revised to be even more in favor of Israel. U.S. policy recently changed to endorse the expansion of Israeli colonies in Palestinian, West Bank territory.

    Ok, im done…/end organized religion= the end of most wars, terrorism…..

  17. Ospreys are remarkable creatures. I would watch them by the hour from our water’s-edge 15th floor all-purpose room on Boca Ciega Bay.

    In front of our building, we had a mangrove lined inlet that was perhaps a couple of hundred feet square. It was usually churning with mullet. Needless to say, the Ospreys claimed sole fishing rights to the fish in the inlet.

    It’s said that, to protect their eyesight from the repetitive blows of striking the water at such a high speed, they would turn their heads at the last instant thereby getting glaucoma in only one eye instead of both.

    As our condo was on the end of the building, we had unobstructed windows on three sides of our apartment. One of the windows was in the master bath. Occasionally an osprey would land on the window ledge to take a break. As I watched one of those birds as they perched that way, I wondered if they knew how fortunate they were to have chosen our digs as their own.

    Next installment: about “our” manatees and KumCho’s conchs. And why our ospreys were so lucky.

  18. Israel launched wars against neighbors in 1956, 1967, and 1982 (all of which it won so easily as to bring into question the necessity for the wars in the first place if they were defensive), and has since 1967 been…… unrelenting in colonizing Palestinian land that it militarily occupied; all the while attempting to avoid becoming responsible for the Palestinian populations on that land. This latter policy has poisoned the entire world.

  19. Smart Gator! I would want to get away from a wastewater treatment plant.

    In one of the ponds I fished there was a 4 or 5 foot alligator that would park itself about 3 feet from me. When I cast my live bait into the water the gator would take off to get it. This one was not a problem.

    In another larger pond there was a 12 footer that you always kept your eye on and knew your escape route. In the retaining pond by our development we had a 7 footer that sunned itself behind the houses that Fish and Wildlife would not remove as there were no reported problems.

    Alligators are a beautiful reptile that demands respect.

    Let me out! Determined gator tries to reach woods by climbing over fence

    Imagine walking between buildings at work and spotting a large alligator trying to clear a chain-link fence.

    That’s what happened to one Manatee County employee this week.

    Chris Hughes had just begun his shift at Manatee County’s wastewater treatment facility when he saw a gator trying to make its way to some woods by going over a 6-foot-high fence topped by barbed wire.

    This is an albino American Alligator at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. He leaps to the edge of a three foot wall, stands on his tail, and crawls through a space about 9″ wide.

  20. Our Manatees were lucky for the same reason that Kumcho’s conchs and the ospreys, as well as the mullet, were lucky; they ‘chose’ to live in a small city that valued habitat needed by these creatures and whose citizens were willing to pay the price for that protection.

    Pods of manatees, perhaps half a dozen at a time, would start churning the water close to out shoreline. They were after the seagrass that had grown since their last forage. As I recall, the grass in our area was largely spartina. While they grazed, their behavior struck as being like bison in that they determined to forge/forage ahead into the path of whatever obstacles that might present themselves; I didn’t see them as sea cows.

    A week or so, after they had grazed our area over, they would move on. So, hypothetically, I would guess their grazing range might be some 50-miles. That would keep them out of the main shipping channel going into Tampa Bay while allowing them to go far enough north to get winter shelter by the power plants.

    Everything living in our part of the Tampa Bay estuary was dependent on the mangrove fringe providing protection from the deleterious effects of man’s intrusion along with natural habitat/nursery for all the critters at the bottom of the Bay’s food chain.

    Those critters included organisms that filter-feeders such as the horse conchs that Kumcho loved, thrived on. And, while she loved the conchs, I loved the wonderful birds, the American Oyster Catchers, that harvested the local you-know-whats.

    And, within the tangle of mangrove roots, many of our local fish started their lives–including the mullet that our Osprey so much enjoyed, and that young Poobah feasted upon at Ted Peters while a poor student reading for the law in Gulfport.

  21. Great clip about the ospreys. Nice to get away from it all and appreciate the beauty around us.

  22. I love Ospreys, too. I can do without wild pigs, man-eating sharks, and piranha.

  23. Solar,

    You notice that you didn’t answer my question, which was where do get information that Israel takes water from the Litani River, or that it even did so in the past.

    Instead, you talked about Ben Gurion’s daydream of a non-Israeli Christian state from Beirut to the Litani, and various people’s ideas from the 19th and early 20th centuries about having the Litani as Israel’s northern border. This is all stuff that never happened and is therefore irrevlevant and immaterial to my question.

    When your argument gets to the last quarter century or so, this is your language (I highlight the operative words):

    “Israel most probably had their eye on the waters of the Litani river, I discovered that this present conflict could possibly be part of a plan to fool the International community and secure the borders of a greater (map in the bible) irsrael…..????” – Solar @ 1:36pm

    “Probably” and “could possibly” don’t make a case.

    In fact, during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the IDF controlled much of the length of the Litani. And, rather than keeping it, they went back to Israel. Israel invaded again to stop hezbullah’s rocket launches, crossing the Litani, and again pulled back to the Israeli border.

    It seems to me that the actual facts of Israel leaving the Litani River to the Lebanese carries a lot more weight than your “probably” and “could possibly”.

    There are plenty of things you could honestly criticize Israel and netanyahoo for, but stealing Litani water isn’t one of them.

  24. Regarding the allegation that Israel started the 1967 War, both sides had planned the war. I contend that it started on May 22, 1967, when nasser closed the Strait of Tiran, not June 5 when the Israelis attacked the Egyptian Air Force and Jordan began to shell Israeli West Jerusalem.In 1957 Israel informed the Arab “entities” that closure of the Strait of Tiran would be construed as an act of war.

    On May 16th 1967, Colonel nasser began massing troops on Israel’s border with the Sinai, raising their number to 100,000, with 950 tanks, 1,100 armored personnel carriers, and more than 1,000 artillery pieces. On May 19th, nasser expelled the UNEF peacekeepers from Gaza, and the Egyptian Army moved into Sharm el Sheikh, overlooking the Strait of Tiran. On May 22d nasser closed the Strait despite Israeli statements that doing so would be considered an attack on Israel.

    From Wikiedia citing Segev 1967, pp. 82, 175–91 : Documents captured by the Israelis from various Jordanian command posts record orders from the end of May for the Hashemite Brigade to capture Ramot Burj Bir Mai’in in a night raid, codenamed “Operation Khaled”. The aim was to establish a bridgehead together with positions in Latrun for an armored capture of Lod and Ramle. The “go” codeword was Sa’ek and end was Nasser. The Jordanians planned for the capture of Motza and Sha’alvim in the strategic Jerusalem Corridor. Motza was tasked to Infantry Brigade 27 camped near Ma’ale Adummim: “The reserve brigade will commence a nighttime infiltration onto Motza, will destroy it to the foundation, and won’t leave a remnant or refugee from among its 800 residents”.

    100 Iraqi tanks and an infantry division were readied near the Jordanian border. Two squadrons of fighter-aircraft, Hawker Hunters and MiG 21, were rebased adjacent to the Jordanian border.
    On June 2, Jordan called up all reserve officers, and the West Bank commander met with community leaders in Ramallah to request assistance and cooperation for his troops during the war, assuring them that “in three days we’ll be in Tel-Aviv”.
    This announcement to citizens of Ramallah shows that the Arab alliance intended to attack Israel on June 5th. Apparently, however, nasser saw the role of his troops as defensive and a feint to draw the bulk of Israeli troops away from the Syrian and Jordanian borders, where the attacks would begin.

    On the morning of June 5th, Israeli launched airstrikes against the Egyptian Air Force just as Jordanian artillery began their barrage against West Jerusalem.

  25. If you drop on the ground and roll into a ball, a black bear might push you around for a while before walking off. However, a wild pig or a brown bear might eat you. For them there’s the .44 Magnum or the Purdy 10 gauge Over & Under.

    I always hate getting et.

  26. XR, Thanks for getting back to me about STAR.

    Having not been in the military, I could only assume that what you were describing, was something akin to the tales of the ninety day wonders, many of whom had to be bailed out by career non-commissioned officers.

  27. I don’t muchlike bears either, but they usually aren’t crazed, and pigs are. I think they want to get even ‘cuz of Jimmie Dean.

  28. Never have seen a wild boar, but have been around many domestic boars and sows too for that matter that had some serious anger management issues.

    Note to the uninitiated, those damn pigs are fast. 😉

  29. I always wanted an over and under. A thing of beauty.
    Settled for a Remington 870. Damn fine shotgun. 😉

  30. Moose, Elk, and even Bambi (!) can be dangerous during the rut.

    At least they won’t eat you.

    I don’t like ticks, mosquitoes, leeches, or gators, either. They all want to eat you.

  31. my one encounter with a wild hog was last fall when a friend gifted me with one, cleaned and dressed as they say……I went by Bernard’s, he got out his meat saw, and we cut up the old boy who was very good with mustard….mustard based barbeque sauce, that is.


  32. I tried to drop a big safe onto a road runner oncet….the dang thing was somehow or another attached to a rope around my ankle and it jerked me clean off the cliff right after it. I passed it on the way down and after I slugged into the earth, adding insult to injury it landed square on top of me.

  33. I should have added I’d still be up that tree if my Dad hadn’t heard me hollering and shot that hog. Nothin tastier than meat of a boar that tried to kill me first!

  34. “Any creature that chooses to eat me, has really bad taste.” – Jace @ 8:54pm

    Another reason to hate man-eaters : they have bad taste.

    The way I see it, if Jace were thoroughly marinated in a fine dry Pauillac, someone like Jacques Pepin might be able to make something of him. Jace marinated in Pontet Canet, 1994, and sauteed with white truffles and minced garlic. Served with a side of fava beans, Jace might turn out to be someone admirable.

    I’m too old and fat. I’d have to be done like a duck, and in the end, I’d still be tough and bitter. I could never be anything to write home about. But Jace….

  35. Oh XR,

    LMAO 😉

    Truth be told they would slap me on the grill, baste me with IPA,brush me with lard and and say, “it’s tough as old shoe leather, but the taste aint bad, iffin you can do better, be my guest.”

  36. Jace, there was other tales of STAR Phenomenon. In fact, I think STAR was just a genre of tale. Some were taller than others.

    A cook who didn’t get salt delivery couldn’t make bread because the CO said he had to follow recipes by to the letter, and the recipe called for salt.

    “This bread was developed at the Pentagon, Sgt.”

    Allegedly at Cam Ranh Bay, a clerk who buried air conditioners in the beach that were meant for the hospital then being built, in order to save them from the Officers Club then being built.

    “No, Sir ! I have no air conditioners in this warehouse, sir.”

    Catch-22 is a best-selling STAR tale.

  37. Ospreys are especially fun when they go out wooing, and dance in the sky. Wow.

  38. During his negotiations with the British and French governments over the launching of the 1956 war, Ben-Gurion proposed a grand plan for reordering the region that would have divided Jordan between Israel and Iraq, transferred all of Lebanon south of the Litani River to Israel, and given Israel portions of the Sinai as well. On Israel’s policies in the 1950s, see Morris, Israel’s Border Wars; Morris, Righteous Victims, chapter 6, especially pp. 289-290; Shlaim, Iron Wall, chapters 3-4, especially pp.184-185; Kennett Love, Suez: the Twice Fought War (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969), pp. 589-638; Michael Brecher, Decisions in Israel’s Foreign Policy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975), pp. 282-283.

    Flapan, Birth of Israel, p 22. Similarly, Ben-Gurion told his son, “I am certain we will be able to settle in all the other parts of the country, whether through agreement and mutual agreement with our Arab neighbors or in another way.” He went on to say, “Erect a Jewish State at once, even if it is not in the whole of the land. The rest will come in the course of time. It must come.” Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World

    The Iron wall is how they are stealing lands and water also that doesn’t belong to them… one is allowed to see anything that they do….

    Like I said…there is plenty of proof…but you go ahead and tell me again, and again that their hand are clean of blood stealing lands and water from others…U have the last word….later

  39. Before I go: Pogo, I was wrong to say that about my nephew getting EIC for him and his wife.

    He did get it at one time…few years ago, and I was not careful in saying that is when he did qualify.

    He only had two children, and did take advantage of it…his wife was not working.

    Im still against this tax deduction…at least when it applies to more than two child credits….I don’t know…sometimes I don’t think that its not fair to have this program on the books for people that have never had children, or married, etc, etc…why do they have to pay for this?….like I said…im not sure….thanks

  40. The osprey film was great.I never consideredd them
    aquatic, tho.

    It’s apparently going to be a very small turkey day
    for us this year, my two sisters, bil, and maybe nephew. Christmas looks like being a zoo, however, with all the kids. What fun!

    Wild boars scare meeven thoI’ve never seen one. I’ve seen pix of the damamge they do to lawns, however, and their meaness and power are impressive.

  41. friend of mine had a great florida wild boar story. seems he was out showing the panhandle wilderness to some hunter types visiting from out west. as they were bumping along a sandy road in the piney woods out of the brush came a boar straight out of b pix casting running snarling and drooling along the side of and almost as big as the small car they were in for a good stretch. he never heard any more snide macho remarks about fl beaches vs co rockies again.

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