A Place In The Sun...

     How many of you remember the lyrics of the epic 1966 Stevie Wonder hit, “A Place In The Sun”?  Ok, give up? Here is the first two stanzas:

 “Like a long lonely stream

I keep runnin' towards a dream

Movin' on, movin' on

Like a branch on a tree

I keep reachin' to be free

Movin' on, movin' on

 

'Cause there's a place in the sun

Where there's hope for ev'ryone

Where my poor restless heart's gotta run

There's a place in the sun

And before my life is done

Got to find me a place in the sun”

     Blue Cypress Lake is such a place for the Osprey population of southern Florida.  It is located about 23 miles west of Vero Beach in Indian River County Florida. This 6,555-acre pristine lake marks the headwaters of the St Johns River, which flows north all the way to Jacksonville and Mayport Florida before entering the Atlantic Ocean. There is only one commercial venture on the lake, the infamous Middleton’s Fish Camp, where I stayed and met some great folks and fellow photographers from North Carolina. There are no locks on the doors there either. Local Fish and Wildlife personnel have counted over 220 mating pair of Osprey on the lake this year. It seemed every other tree on the shoreline had an Osprey nest in it. My photographer instructor and boat guide is a well-known professional wildlife biologist by the name of Ron Bielefeld who runs Whistling Wings Photography workshops and tours. 

      This time of year the female Osprey are mainly sitting on the eggs incubating them while the male stands guard close by and brings an occasional fish snack to share with her (often minus the head).  The Ospreys were also observed bringing fresh moss and sticks to the nest sites. Ron showed me the western side of the lake in his well-equipped photographers pontoon boat. It was a beautiful morning with a slight breeze that kept the mosquitos at bay. Ron is very careful not to disturb the nesting Ospreys.  I had a magical morning trying to capture the beauty of these magnificent raptors as they proudly guarded and nurtured their future generation. We did see one nest with chicks already hatched. Soon there will be hundreds more.

      I apologize for the quality of some of the photos, I was trying out one of Canon’s larger prime lenses (500mm F4 Mk II). It was heavy and difficult to hand hold and track the Osprey but I managed to capture a few keepers. Hope you enjoy this “Place in the Sun”. Can’t wait to see my "Place in the Son" someday. Be Blessed. Harry

In nearly every other tree we saw an Osprey nest. Photo from "Bing" Blue Cyprus Photo workshop. Photographer unknown, not listed. (yes I "borrowed" it)!

This nesting pair indeed have found a "Place in the Sun"..typical of what we saw in nearly every tree. Note the size and construction of the nest. 

Fresh nesting material being brought to the nest

A strong nest is built one stick at a time..some larger than others..some smaller..

Here is another one coming in..

Fresh Black Crappie is what is for breakfast…the look says don't touch it though! Mine!

Mine, Mine Mine..This female is not about to share her tidbits with the neighbors..

This couple fought hard for their place in the sun ..the male on the left has nearly lost an eye it appears.

You looking at me or my fish?

Dang photographers! Can't a bird have a fish sandwich without a photo op? 

What? Leftovers again?

Highly cropped image of a female feeding three young ones!

An Osprey in flight turning into "Final Approach"

Landing tree in sight….making final approach...

Air Brakes applied...

Landing…Nailed it!

Blue Cypress Lake…A Place in the Sun for sure..Photo courtesy of Bing Blue Cypress Photo workshop..photographer unknown..

email: selsorhd@me.com

All photographs and materials copyrighted and possession of Harry D Selsor. All rights reserved.

Photos are avail for purchase framed or unframed.