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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Fifty Eight: Man and nature -- expressing our relationship with the environment > Osprey nest, Palisades Reservoir, Idaho, 2010
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Osprey nest, Palisades Reservoir, Idaho, 2010
28-MAY-2010

Osprey nest, Palisades Reservoir, Idaho, 2010

While traveling through Idaho, we encountered a sight that was not only incongruous but also expressed the linkage between man and nature. An osprey was peeking at us from its nest atop a power line tower. Usually birds of prey build their nests in trees deep in the forest, yet this one had constructed its home at the very top of an object built and used for the energy needs of man. (I have some fears for its safety up there amidst all that voltage, yet so far, so good.) Using a long 400mm telephoto lens, I framed the image so that the power lines and the tower create a series of repeating diagonal lines that echo each other and draw the eye through the image with considerable energy. (Pun intended.) The gray sky offers a clean background, while the ominous clouds underscore the precarious setting for the osprey’s nest.

(A few months after I made this image, I learned that this nest is not far from a fish hatchery, which may well account for it's location--still another reminder of the linkage between nature and man.)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1
1/800s f/6.3 at 78.0mm iso100 full exif

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Phil Douglis19-Jun-2010 18:18
Thanks for the comment, Carol. This image is a perfect fit for this gallery, which explores man's relationship to nature and nature's relationship to man. It is interesting to ponder what motivates an osprey to choose such a nesting place? And yes, this is nature's way of responding to the world that man has imposed upon it. Good point.
Carol E Sandgren19-Jun-2010 18:14
The orderliness of the lines, even the fact that they make near perfect right angles, really contrasts with the natural shapes and colors of the bird's nest. My first instinct when I came upon this image was....is that the best the osprey can do for picking a site for his nest?? Perhaps it is,and the bird knows something we don't. How interesting that nature "answers back" to this man made, artificial world we have created.
Phil Douglis18-Jun-2010 00:29
Thanks for taking us into an osprey's brain, Alina. I agree. Why use a trembling live tree for a nest when man gives you two trees braced with steel for the price of one?
Alina17-Jun-2010 19:40
This osprey built its nests on the very stable pole. It is supported by steel lines and barely moves. While in the forest all trees are moving with the wind. Smart bird :)
Phil Douglis17-Jun-2010 00:19
Thanks, Rose, for pointing out the contrast between man's geometry and nature's informality.
sunlightpix16-Jun-2010 23:06
I especially like the contrast between the ordered lines and sharp angles to the organic bundle of sticks.
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