The Wildflower Nest
by Carolyn Stearns
I live along the Chesapeake Bay,
A happy place for me.
I see ospreys and gulls all summer long,
My friends who fly over the sea.
I tell my mom I long for a garden
With wildflowers galore.
So together we go for mulch and seeds
To the local hardware store.
I scatter the seeds along the sea wall
And water them every day.
I want to see flowers five feet tall
And a wind making them sway.
I wait and I water, I water and wait.
I try everything I know.
These seeds are a bust! I finally say,
Why wont these wildflowers grow?
I turn off the hose and sit down on my chair
To think about all of my choices.
When all of a sudden an osprey appears
Making wonderful osprey noises.
I watch amazed as it gathers my seeds,
Along with my mulch in its claws.
So that is why my garden wont grow,
Its the osprey with feet like jaws.
The osprey flies off with my wildflower concoction,
A gift to its mate at the nest.
Ospreys will take most any old thing,
But mulch for a nest is the best.
The nest they build is up on a piling
Over the Chesapeake Bay.
I ask my mom again and again,
How many eggs will she lay?
The day finally comes when the nest is done,
And three mottled eggs appear.
I look at them through my binoculars,
Making far-off things look near.
Each day I sit and look through the glasses,
No babies in sight, not yet.
Whats this I see? I try blinking my eyes.
Theyre daisies Im willing to bet.
Next in the nest I see cosmos and sage
And snapdragons starting to bloom.
Then yarrow, heather, and rosemary, too,
And blossoms that look like the moon.
The flowers are growing every which way,
More colors than Ive ever seen.
The eggs are hidden behind all the growth.
I feel I have entered a dream.
The osprey chicks are finally born, and
The nest is a blooming delight.
Flowers are bobbing up, down and around,
Bursting with color and light.
With every rain the nest grows bigger,
A most unusual bouquet.
I cant imagine a more magical place
For these ospreys born by the Bay.
Read more stories by Carolyn Stearns in her books by Tidewater Press: Where Did All the Water Go? Youll have to wait until 2002 to read her new book about eagles.
Every summer, the osprey leave the Bay and migrate to South America. Then in March, after their winter vacation in the tropics, they head back to their Bay summer home to build nests and lay eggs.
Which week will the osprey leave this year? Send in your educated guess along with an osprey picture by you to Bay Weekly Osprey Contest P.O. Box 358 Deale, MD 20751. If there is a tie, we will draw the winner from a hat. The prize: two free tickets to the Maryland Renaissance Festival (Aug-24- Oct 21).
Back to School! - Anne Arundel County kids will hit the books on Aug 27; Calvert Countians get one more day, going back on August 28.
Chesapeake Youth Symphony Auditions - Get your big break during the last two weeks of August. Young musicians between 8 and 18 audition to join 1 of 4 ensembles. Heritage Baptist Church, Annapolis.
Very Hungry Caterpillars - Sat, Aug 25 (10-10:30am) Big chunks are gone from leaves. Find out whats been eating like its life depended on it. Tiny inch worms and huge green horn tomato worms are all around us. See how they munch! Ages 2-3. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Prince Frederick. $3 w/discounts.
Butterflies Flutter By! - Sun, Aug 26 (2-2:30 pm) Hear stories of the prettiest winged bugs at storytelling with Sherri.Ages 3-5. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Prince Frederick. free.