An osprey carries a sucker fish over Kendall Yards on Wednesday evening last week.
This week's Outdoors issue of the Inlander
celebrates the adorable and awe-inspiring presence of wildlife
near Spokane's urban core.
This year, I had but one bullet point on my summer bucket list:
• Get a sweet picture of an osprey carrying a fish.
The evening before my story on urban wildlife in Spokane was due, I finally got lucky. Pausing on the Centennial Trail near the Night Market in Kendall Yards, I spotted an osprey searching for food.
After diving down to the Spokane River to snatch a sucker fish, the osprey skims over the Spokane River, then glides above the Peaceful Valley neighborhood.
Then he heads for the Maple Street Bridge, shooting upward over the evening's traffic.
Then, he's flying west over Riverside Avenue...
... swinging by Q6
...soaring over the towers of the Steam Plant and the Cathedral of our Lady of Lourdes...
... and making a cameo above
City Hall. (A few months ago, I was interviewing City Council President Ben Stuckart about financial reporting problems with the Spokane County Democrats, only to be rudely interrupted mid-question by an osprey flying by directly outside the window of the seventh-floor City Hall room.)
Finally, he flies back across the river, directly over my head, delivering that photograph I've been seeking for two straight summers:
Earlier this year, I also managed to take a few shots of an osprey — maybe the same osprey — gliding down into the gorge, ripping a big stick off a tree, and taking it back to its nest. (The stick really ties the room together.)
On top of that, I managed to snap a few pics of the osprey
lifting off and turned it into a low-res GIF.
That's Spokane for you.