The Best Alarm Clock

This osprey and its mate have been building this nest high in a tree across from Further.

I’ve mentioned a few times that one of the perks of being at this particular marina is that we’re located up at the head of a cove where a small creek enters Chesapeake Bay. There’s a little, untouched natural area — trees and thick brush — at the mouth of the creek that the city of Annapolis has protected. As a result, we get all sorts of critters around here, which is something this nature boy just adores.

Thus far I’ve seen raccoons, foxes, a muskrat and countless squirrels (on the con side: apparently a pair of squirrels made a nest in the furled mainsail of one of the sailboats in this marina…destroyed a $6,000 sail). Just this morning a snake swam by the bow of my boat. Yikes! And the bird life is out of control: a lot of herons of all types, big and small, feeding on the tiny fish at the head of the cove; more cardinals than I’ve ever seen in my life; same with the robins; geese making a ruckus and ducks coming to the boat for handouts; vultures by the score; a couple of eagles; and lately, a host of ospreys — including a pair that have been building a nest high in the tree opposite Further’s slip.

And with this week’s explosion of summer in the mid-Atlantic — temps in the 80s and low 90s, hot sun — I’ve been sleeping with my hatches wide open. Which meant this morning I was awakened by the piercing cries of those nest-building ospreys and the repetitive whistles of some cardinals. Beat any ring tone my phone could have delivered, that’s for sure.