Exhilarating challenges

The howling wind out of the northeast was at once haunting and comforting, a familiar reminder that late-spring weather along the Mid-Atlantic seaboard could soothe one day and threaten the next. Blanketing the overnight darkness with an envelope of sound, the volatile currents were nature’s cargo carriers for all forms of life from microbes to birds, large and small.

The next day, with the winds still brisk and sunrays dancing on the blue water’s sparkling surface, an Osprey presented itself with startling surprise, hitting the lake with a wallop.

I was familiar with the Nor’easter’s habit of delivering Ospreys and other birds of all kinds to the lake, but this time, distracted by my fixation on finding a pair of hawks that were displaced from a nearby haunt by the storm, I was unprepared for the raptor’s initial dive and impact and missed the photo.

For several weeks prior, I’d closely followed the exploits of a pair of Red-tailed Hawks as they worked and played on two sides of a

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