#Unexpected #AdventWord

Early afternoon Oct. 26, I left the Gulf Coast and headed north on the east leg of the Creole Nature Trail (La. Hwy 27, Cameron Parish). A side trip on the Pintail Wildlife Drive before dark was on my agenda.

It’s a beautiful drive. Some of my friends call me “lead foot,” but on the Creole Trail, I poke along. You never know what you might encounter.

But… an osprey? Profile from a distance looks promising. I ease to the side of the road, bring up the 300mm lens. Sure enough. Hooked beak, dark band around a yellow eye and extending down the back… And, what is that under its foot?

I got one shot through the windshield. The bird flew, and it was instantly clear that I had interrupted dinner. A large silver fish dangled from the osprey’s talons.

For at least a mile, I followed the osprey from telephone pole to telephone pole, trying to get closer, get out of the car for a better shot, one NOT through my dirty windshield.

Finally, in exasperation, the osprey turned its head and glared at me. I put down the camera, sat quietly and watched in awe this beautfiul bird begin to consume its prize.

Thank you, magnificent creature, for stopping me in my tracks. Truth be told, I’m not sure an osprey can do anything but glare, given that yellow eye surrounded by dark feathers! But that day, a glare was what I needed to slow me down and open me to the #unexpected.

This #AdventWord series will be creature encounters as spiritual practice.

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