Wednesday, August 9, 2017

This is Science

I enter the cove no more than a 1000 feet and two low bridges from where I put in.  I head over to the southeast shore to take advantage of the shade while I still can.  It was down to 60 F last night and the cool heavy air in the forest is sliding down the hill to the water while the sun warmed air above the water loses density and rises. This is science.
That cool air coming out of the forest is somewhat delicious to the senses.
Ahead are two high soaring birds, just dark bird shapes to my eye at this distance.  Their chirping whistle identifies them as clearly as anything - Osprey.  I wonder if any of the residents in the scattered shoreline houses remember when there weren't Osprey.  By the 1970's, the indiscriminate use of DDT to kill mosquitoes had also eliminated resident Osprey, Eagles, and other large birds, the side effect of DDT being that it caused thin egg shells which would break during incubation.  This is science.
I look up just in time to see an Osprey dive from 200 feet.  It is a controlled dive, the wings used as brakes as much as they are used for aiming the bird.  It doesn't plummet at maximum speed, but drops at half rate until it is 20 or 30 feet above the water.  The feet come forward, the wings fold more and the bird hits with an audible "kerplunk" that arrives a split second after I see the event...sound traveling very much slower than light.  This is science...a lot of science when you think about it.
It takes about 2 hours to explore the cove and its several side "covelettes".  The bottom 1/2 mile was rather sterile with little going on.  But, after that I flushed and spotted at least a dozen Great Blue Herons, perhaps 10 Great Egrets, a few Kingfisher and Swans, and 8 or 10 Osprey.  The middle section of the cove was definitely lively.
Returning to the main river, I head upstream curious about a tall glass building that rises up above the trees in the distance.  It turns out to be the casino.  Everybody wins gambling at the casino, that is how they can afford to build a 20+ story glass hotel.  Just ask anyone who gambles, they'll tell you how much they win.  This is not science, it's just a lot of people who are bad at math.

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