I walk into Kasugai to savour the peace I find there. I compliment the lands keeper who manicures and primps this refuge from the traffic and accelerated business of city life. He tells me that an Osprey is visiting the garden and has its eye on the pond-fish. Birds of prey don’t often come here, he adds; but this one has fished a Koi from his pond which is about three feet deep. He says they have a broad wing span; but they don’t swoop and skim prey from the surface like eagles; these raptors dive from a height, plunge and in one movement arise with a skewered lunch.
The predator seems incongruous in this oasis of peace meant for the contemplative needs of the Zen practitioner. And I am amused by an image that appears in my mind: I see the noble bird dive and rise not with her kill but with a beak bent by a shallow bottom.
As I walk around the pond to the exit, the commissionaire on the other side points on high, motioning with his finger. And there is the feathered rogue – unapologetic, supercilious and intent on the fishy movements below. I snap a photo just in time to see her launch her streamlined figure into the air, withdrawing to practice her avionics elsewhere.
At home I read the Capital News. And there I understand the reason for her unusual arrival: Osprey have nested in the arm of a crane on Sunset Drive, and because of them it cannot be dismantled as ordered by the city – at least not until October when this family of birds flies south. Until then, Ms. Osprey is sure to return to feast on the fat and unhurried Koi served with compliments from city hall.