Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fall Comes to the Chesapeake

September 3, 2013
A couple of weeks ago I was awakened by a small flock of geese honking noisily as they circled “The Haven” in Swan Creek just west of our marina.  While the temperatures continue to hover near the 90’s in the afternoons the telltale signs of fall are approaching. Last week we anchored for a couple of nights in a protected cove of the Magothy River. Each morning a building flock of Tree Swallows flitted between our mast and spreaders and those of another boat anchored nearby. By the second morning they literally covered our superstructure and fought for landing rights.

The realization of fall’s approach hit home yesterday afternoon.  As we walked down the docks another couple on a boat nearby asked if we’d seen the Bald Eagles circle over the pool this afternoon.  I said we’d missed them, responding with a question, “Are the Ospreys gone?”  Our eagles typically hide in the woods all summer until the Osprey’s head south.  Sure enough, their familiar cry was missing at dawn this morning as I sat in the cockpit with my first cup of coffee waiting for sun to appear.

The cloud cover remains this morning and a north wind precedes the approaching cold front that is predicted to arrive tomorrow from the upper Midwest. I don’t know how the Ospreys choose their departure.  In previous years I’ve watched parents encouraging fledglings circle higher and higher in the towering thermals of the late summer afternoons just before they disappeared.  This year I missed the signs but remember the ritual. 
A few hours later we took a drive into Chestertown and leaves from the Remington woods swirled in our truck back draft. Temperatures are in the sixties at night now, high temps are a moderating and the breeze is picking up. Sad to see summer end, we look forward to fall sailing.