Thursday, August 4, 2022

Osprey and young ones

Had the opportunity to observe an Osprey nest from far. In fact the nest was on a man made platform out in the sea. While watching and capturing them on camera, I observed a few things, like the head bobbing before they made a dive for the fish.
These head bobs are done to triangulate their prey. Very rarely do they miss the prey. After catching a fish they don't straight away take it to the nest. They fly around for some time to ensure that the fish is dead (or half dead) Most of the time, the adult eats a part of the fish before dropping them in the nest. (they too require nourishment)
After a fish is caught, it arranges its feet to turn the fish so it faces head first. This reduces aerodynamic drag making the fish easier to carry.
Once I noticed the male breaking off a branch from a nearby tree and placing it in the nest. Does this amount to "periodic maintenance of the house"?  
The rate of growth of the young one is pretty fast after a month as can be seen in this illustration. (courtesy) The body size is almost the same as an adult.
Here you can see an Adult and juvenile Osprey.
Before they fly out, the young ones try flapping the wings in the nest to get the hang of it.
Once they are sure about it, they fly off to nearby structures to practice perching, like this weather wane
Or to a nearby tree to sit next to the parent.
Often smaller bird species like starlings or house sparrows live in the underside of the nest (basement apartment can be seen at 5:40 in the video)
Eagles and Blue Herons are the enemies of the young ones. They try to snatch away the young ones when adults are not around. I saw a Blue Heron being chased away who tried to get too close to the nest.
I captured some of their movements over a period of eight days and compiled it to a five minute video.

The whole episode was captured at Chesapeake Bay near the boardwalk, (which was described in the previous blog.)  Lately blogspot does not allow replies to be sent to individual comments (or is it that something is wrong with my settings) 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay was formed over 11000 years ago. Native American tribes centered their world around Chesepoic - the country of the great rivers. The Boardwalk existed as early as 1930 which was just two blocks long in those days. It was rebuilt many times after being destroyed by hurricanes. The present one is about half a mile long and is a meeting place for the local residents. I found the best time to click pictures was during sunrise.
People having their morning walk, some jog while others take their dogs for a morning walk.
Fishing enthusiasts would turn up early in the hope of making a catch.
There was a band (The Winstons) playing in the evening and I captured a part of their performance.
The young (and the young at heart) were shaking a leg to the wonderful music.
I found the energy level of the performers quite high as can be seen in the video. Found a peculiar type of tree opposite the boardwalk. Was it a creeper or was it some sort of parasite on the tree?
Earlier we had dinner at the Vaughan Cheese, run by Megan and Tyler. It was an experience in itself especially regarding the different forms of cheese.
Found a few birds along the bay like the Royal tern.
Trying to identify this bird
There were man made platforms specially erected for the Ospreys for their nesting season.
More on the Ospreys and its nesting habits in the next blog.
Earlier we had been to Annapolis and spent half a day there. The memorial that I saw at the city dock is the only memorial in the United States that commemorates the actual name and place of an enslaved African, Kunta Kinte. It reminded me of all that I read (about four decades ago) in the book "Roots" by Alex Haley.
Did some window shopping there.
Here were some recycled articles made from old cans in Madagascar, Africa, for sale.
Now to work on the Osprey video.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Bare feet

Last evening I had the opportunity to spend some time watching Hawaiin dance by The Barefeet Hawaiian Inc. Time well spent I must say. Steve did a good job of anchoring the show using the right words at the right time.
It was fun to watch the swaying movements of the participating dancers with their smiling faces.
Among the Hula Dance implements they used, I liked the Puili for the rhythmic sound it made in sync with the beat of the song.
Other implements used were Uli uli, Poi Balls, and ii
The addition of Elvis Presley's song was a good touch as Elvis had a good connection with Hawaii including his movie Blue Hawaii. Some young girls came forward when Steve mentioned learning the basic steps.
The men were equally eager and some stepped forward (barefeet of course) to try out the steps.
I was a bit worried that some kid would spin the Poi Ball in the wrong direction and injure someone but care was taken and no one was injured.
I captured what I could (from where I was seated) and put it together to form a short video. The first two minutes of the video is Kaluva Pepe, the song featuring Hula from Hawaii, Otea from Tahiti, Haka from New Zealand and Sasa from Samoan.

As Steve mentioned, he was giving us a taste of Polynesian dance and music. Polynesian means many islands. I just looked it up on the internet and learned that the largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand. Here is a picture from Wikipedia.

As mentioned earlier, it was time well spent. I am sure all those who were present there, went home with positive vibes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Bocce Ball

This morning while cycling down Bode road, I saw these guys playing Bocce ball. The fact is, I didn't even know the name of the game until I looked it up on the internet.
It is one of the ball sports under the boules family. This game can be conducted between two players or two teams. The small white ball known as the Pallino (also known as Jack) is thrown first.
Then each member throws their individual ball, to get it as close to the Jack as possible. All throws have to be made underhand.
Once all have thrown their balls, they make a visual study to determine who is the closest, and points are decided.
If there is a dispute, a measuring tape is used to determine the distance from the Jack.
The rules are flexible as long as all participants agree to it. After observing them, I realised that the rules they were following were similar to the game of goti (marbles) that we used to play during our school days. The scores are updated after each game.
The history of this game is interesting. Bocce Ball spread throughout Palestine and into Asia Minor. . . . . . In 600 B.C., Bocce was picked up by the Greeks and passed to the Romans. It was played everywhere, from the churches and castles to the city streets. People from all walks of life could play the game; young or old, man or woman. In 1319 A.D., Bocce Ball was actually prohibited to people of lesser nobility because it was felt that it diverted attention from more important tasks, such as archery and war training.

As of today, it is an event in the Special Olympics, and is being proposed to be in the Olympics.

. Made a short video from what I captured.

On the way back, I saw this bird. I presume it is a young one of a Northern Cardinal (or is it a Rose Finch?)