Weekend Waterview: Pontoon Ride for Lola + Osprey and Herons Nesting

Happy Sunday! We took our first pontoon ride yesterday. Normally we’re boating by late March or early April, but between the pollen and the rain this spring, we’re getting a late start.

Lola was only a few months old when we last boated in October.

She’s learning to get her sea (or lake ;) legs again.

She’s a fast learner. ;)

We always look forward to checking on the osprey nests on the lake. Osprey return to their same nest on Lake Norman in March, after wintering in Central and South America. They can log more than 160,000 migration miles during their 15-to-20-year lifetime.

They build their nests on manmade structures . . . channel markers, duck blinds, power poles and nest platforms designed especially for nesting.

We’ve even seen a osprey nesting on a boat. . . {insert *wince* here}

A little about Osprey according to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Ospreys gravitate toward shallow fishing grounds, frequenting deep water only where fish school near the surface. Ospreys nest in a wide variety of locations, from Alaska to New England, Montana to Mexico, Carolina to California; their habitat includes almost any expanse of shallow, fish-filled water, including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, lagoons, swamps, and marshes. Whatever the location, Osprey nesting habitat must include an adequate supply of accessible fish within a maximum of about 12 miles of the nest; open, usually elevated nest sites free from predatory mammals such as raccoons, and a long enough ice-free season to allow the young to fledge.

Ospreys require nest sites in open surroundings for easy approach, with a wide, sturdy base and safety from ground predators (such as raccoons). Nests are usually built on snags, treetops, or crotches between large branches and trunks; on cliffs or human-built platforms. Usually the male finds the site before the female arrives.

Osprey nests are built of sticks and lined with bark, sod, grasses, vines, algae, or flotsam and jetsam. The male usually fetches most of the nesting material—sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees as he flies past—and the female arranges it. Nests on artificial platforms, especially in a pair’s first season, are relatively small—less than 2.5 feet in diameter and 3–6 inches deep. After generations of adding to the nest year after year, Ospreys can end up with nests 10–13 feet deep and 3–6 feet in diameter—easily big enough for a human to sit in.

We spied a Great blue heron nesting in the top of tree on an this small island on the lake.

The nest looks like it’s at maximum capacity and could snap that branch any moment!

Lola was fascinated with the birds, just like Chloe was. . . *sniff*.

It’s looking like we’re in for a hot Memorial Day weekend. There were a lot of boaters on the lake yesterday and it felt like more like July than May, with the temperature soaring to 93 degrees.

Too dog gone hot for May in North Carolina!

Lola says she hopes you’re staying cool this weekend!

Boating Lake Norman, Osprey & Heron Nests | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #pontoon #boatingwithdogs #LKN #osprey #herons #bichonfrise

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 Between Naps on the Porch


  50 comments for “Weekend Waterview: Pontoon Ride for Lola + Osprey and Herons Nesting

  1. bdomitrovich
    May 19, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Lola is absolutely precious and so cute!! I am sorry for your loss. Chloe was precious to. My husband I lost our three rescues in a short period of time and I was heartbroken. They were 13, 14, and 15 years old and it left a big void at home. We gave it some time and adopted our two labradors, Jake and Maggie, and the house is happy again :-). Thanks for always sharing such beautiful pictures.

  2. Alice Genzlinger
    May 19, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Your pictures of the lake and Miss Lola make me want to find a body of water and take our sweet cavalier with us to enjoy a day on the water. However it’s cold here in Colorado and we have a frost warning this morning with snow expected Tuesday. Yuck. So I’ll enjoy your post and dream about your temps here.

  3. May 19, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Thanks for all of the nature pics. Just beautiful. I am glad to see that Lola is turning out to be a good companion. She looks like she is enjoying the limelight and picture taking and the boatride!

  4. May 19, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Such gorgeous snaps, never seen a heron nest, the size it can be is
    Incredible! On the flip side, while pruning a very young tree I startled a finch at chest level, the nest was maybe 2″, I couldn’t have been more delighted!

  5. Jennifer
    May 19, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Your photos are great! Ospreys and great great blue herons are my fave and we have them on our small lake in S Florida. We’re enjoying cooler temps in the NC mountains. If you have any tips to ward off a crazy cardinal that has been jumping at our windows for THREE weeks now, I’d love to hear them! Enjoy your memorial weekend and your Lola is precious!

    • Susan Gentry
      May 19, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Jennifer, if you put a large picture 81/2 by 11 will do) of an owl in the window, the bird will stop flying into it.

  6. Marie in AZ
    May 19, 2019 at 8:56 am

    A lovely day on the lake. Lola looks perfectly at home, and like she’s enjoying it!

  7. May 19, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Lola does look like she is going to be another boat ride lover! I love to see the osprey, and the crazy places they build their nests, but I’ve never seen a nesting blue heron with babies, wow, great capture Mary! I know you enjoyed being back on the boat again, I am looking forward to lots of boating next weekend! Looks like Summer is officially here, stay cool this week~

  8. Jan Fusco
    May 19, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Lola is so precious. Will she be getting a brother or sister soon?

    • Cyndi Raines
      May 19, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Lola is turning out to be a darling salty sailor! Love her sweet face. Glad you were able to enjoy that awesome boat. The bird information is so interesting. Enjoy your Sunday! 🐚🐟🏖

  9. Clara
    May 19, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Beautiful lake pics Mary! Bird watching is so relaxing; I enjoyed every picture this morning that you shared with us. Lola looks so happy & appears to be quite the lake pup! Have a wonderful week and try to stay cool! Clara 💕

  10. Diane Mueller
    May 19, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Thank you for your gorgeous pictures. We, too, are at the lake enjoying every minute in Oklahoma.

  11. May 19, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Spectacular photos, Mary!! It is too hot for May in NC, true here in the mountains too.

  12. May 19, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Phenominal​ photo’s

  13. Jane Lund
    May 19, 2019 at 9:50 am

    How precious is she?!! Fascinating about the Ospreys! Thank you for always sharing such cuteness & beauty!

  14. Kathy M.
    May 19, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Wonderful pictures and Lola is going to be quite the boating companion. We have had an Osprey nest in top of a microwave tower very near us for the past 5 yrs. Such fun to watch them. The parent birds fish in our pond and feed the young. Found a good size fish one day on our sidewalk. Must have been dropped and was quite a mystery till we realized where it came from. Stay cool during this early heat wave.Hope it not a forewarning of things to come this summer. Happy Memorial Day.

  15. Karen
    May 19, 2019 at 10:38 am

    You take such beautiful pictures. Love learning about the Ospreys and Blue Herons. And Lola- “Oh my gosh”- too cute for words. It is supposed to get to 85 here in in Philly,Pa. today.

  16. Nancy
    May 19, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Your phots and information are amazing!

  17. May 19, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Mary your pictures are awesome. Wouldn’t want one of the osprey to get mad at me – they look mean. Have a safe Memorial Day.

  18. maxipop
    May 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

    I love all the pictures you post. I love Lola, the birds and other animals and the landscapes. I love all the decorations for table. I post a lot of these pictures on my Facebook timeline. Thank you for brightening my days! Kisses for Lola!

  19. May 19, 2019 at 11:19 am

    I sure enjoyed the boat ride. I can see why Lola loves those beautiful birds! I do too. The Heron in her nest of babies… priceless. Beautiful pictures!

    Lola is just toooooo cute. xoxo

  20. Judy A Smith
    May 19, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I am just catching up on some of your earlier blogs and I just need to tell your that your extraordinarily beautiful garden and fabulous photos leave me bedazzled, We do not have the same birds here in the west so I loved those pics as well. Thank you for all of your effort to share your beauty with us, your followers.

  21. Janet Robinson
    May 19, 2019 at 11:32 am

    I love these pictures Mary!! Lola has certainly adjusted and loves being out on the water like Gracie and Chloe did!! She is so adorable!! Our Bichon Chet is 10 and a half and we may get another soon. Your weather looks spectacular!!! Our weather in Maine finally warmed up and I sat by our pool for the first time this year as we opened it this week!!!

  22. Ann Woleben
    May 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Our home is situated by a 55 acre lake fed by underground springs. There is a dam and an overflow that spills into the creek. We, too, enjoy watching the herons, egrets, and osprey. Our backyard is a haven for other birds – looking out now I see bright yellow finches at their feeder as well as hummingbirds sipping sweet nectar. Last night a rabbit, a squirrel and a bluejay shared seed at our ground feeder – no squabbling! Having filled the three birdbaths and with the expectation of low 90s temps, it won’t be long before we see a line of eager bathers. The only thing missing – our sweet Maggie dog – she lived to the age of 17. Lola is absolutely precious. I can imagine how much you enjoy her. She makes a great “sailor!”

  23. May 19, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    I’m happy Lola likes the boat rides. She looks relaxed and confident with the breeze blowing in her face. She is so adorable! The temps are climbing here as well. Thunderstorms yesterday, but sunny today. I’m in the garden planting up some more pots that I’ve procrastnated on getting done. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful photos of the day on the lake. You certainly live in a gorgeous setting. Happy Week ahead!

  24. May 19, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Mary,

    This is the first post and first time I have replied to a Blogger. I just recently found your blog through the”French Garden House” Floral Friday’s. And I viewed your blog just in time to see the talented other tablescape bloggers for the Summer kickoff tablescape hop. I am gIad to know I am not the only one with this dish obsession. I also want to know where everyone stores their dishes when they are not in use? I had 2 Cocker Spaniels (mother and son) who loved the water too. Their facial expressions are so cute with the wind. I really like your garden shed and your garden. I have a “secret garden” that all the neighborhood cats seek out for cat naps in peace and quite away from their humans and other pooches. I am beginning to work on my blog, and yours is amazing, the photos are terrific. I am southern California and the weather this weekend has been overcast and raining, can’t believe it. But, very grateful for Mother Nature to bring us rain. We’ve been in a drought for years. And it has helped my garden bloom profusely!!!

  25. Virginia
    May 19, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Looks like a beautiful day to spend on the lake and Lola certainly seems to enjoy the ride. The osprey have returned to northeastern North Carolina as well as the purple martins. We have a pair or blue birds nesting in our blue bird house, they are so interesting to watch. We had our sailboat in the water Friday and enjoyed a trip down the river. Tuesday we set sail for Manteo for four nights, so looking forward to the trip and a little change of pace. Thanks for sharing the information on the osprey, they are magnificent birds.

  26. Paula
    May 19, 2019 at 3:30 pm


    Very interesting about the different birds, the birds sure are singing here today ! LoLa is so adorable !!

    Have a joyful week!

  27. SUSAN
    May 19, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Lola’s looking like she needs a partner 😊. Any thoughts about another one?

  28. Bonnie Morgan
    May 19, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Lola looks right at home and is adorable.
    Great shots of the osprey and especially the blue heron and her nest with babies! I know that was a thrill!
    I wanted the weather last week to last for much longer! It was so perfect!

  29. May 19, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Wonderful photos! And I share your opinion about the hot days already. I’m just south of Charlotte and we also cooked yesterday. I am hoping for just a little cooler tomorrow. Need to get up pretty early for yard work to be done before the heat hits!

  30. May 19, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Absolutely love your osprey nests and the pic of that heron nest with the hatchlings is so cool! I love ospreys. I regularly watch two live osprey nest cams located in Boulder. It’s really fun to watch the parents bring in fish and feed the chicks. One time the dad brought in a huge Koi fish clearly stolen from someone’s pond. Ooops!

  31. Ellen Martin
    May 19, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    What incredibly beautiful nesting and lake pictures, including your cute Lola!! The photo of the heron nest in the tree top needs to be framed. It’s perfect! Your posts provide so much inspiration and beauty!!

  32. May 20, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Looks like you had a perfect day on the water Mary! Hard to believe it’s Memorial Day Weekend coming up already… But I’ll take the extra day off from work:@) Stay cool!

  33. Rita C.
    May 20, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Whoa, Mary, great photos! Love the single osprey in flight, either looking like landing or taking off, and the herons in nest! Lola really looks like she’s in her element with your undivided attention at the moment. She’s adorable. I agree, it’s too hot for May. I stayed inside and reorganized my dumping closet at the condo for about the 5th time. 🙄

  34. Lynda
    May 20, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Gorgeous pics! I love seeing the nests with the baby birds and busy, attentive parents. Lola is so cute!

  35. Mary L Stevens
    May 20, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Lola is so cute!! I didn’t realize you lived on Lake Norman, my son lives in Statesville. I will probably be there the first of Aug for a visit!!

  36. F
    May 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Sweet Lola

  37. Sue
    May 20, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    I really enjoy all of your posts and your informational ones in regards to birds, plants, habitat are a good read also.
    Lola looks right at home on your boat and seems as if you will have many reminders of Chloe and Gracie in the summer months to come; so sorry.

  38. Linda S. in NE
    May 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Mary and David, I was not aware that you had suffered another devastating loss. I am sending my heartfelt condolences. Such a touching memorial to your special girl. I am so sorry.

  39. Darlene
    May 20, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Interesting facts and information on feathered friends. Will share you facts and amazing photos you have taken with our grandchildren .. they will love it!

  40. May 21, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Great photos!

  41. Anne Marie
    May 21, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Looks like Lola had fun! Such a sweetheart!

  42. Janet
    May 22, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos, and informing us about Ospreys and Great Blue Herons. Lola is soooo cute!

  43. Ellen
    May 23, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Thanks for taking me along on that ride!! Very informative about the Ospreys!! I fear, when all this rain subsides, it’s going to be just plain HOT!! Our farmers haven’t been able to get into the fields to plant and I have flowers and veggies still sitting in their original pots waiting to be planted..but it has to stop raining and dry up a bit..can’t plant in mud!! LOLA is just a cutie! Also, your photos are incredible!! 👍🏻❤️🇺🇸

    My little Osprey story…my cousin worked on the design of the Osprey plane..when finished we got hats with the image on it and date!!

  44. May 28, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Wow! She’s a gorgeous dog.

  45. Marissa Mercready
    January 24, 2020 at 3:05 am

    Beautiful photos! Lola is super adorable! Our last outing was with my sweet doggie boy on Labor Day 2019. He was a shihtzu-poodle mix and looked exactly like Lola! We took him out on a boat with friends on the Eastern Shore! Two months later we had to put him down! He was 14 and could barely walk anymore! Seeing Lola reminded me of my boy! I miss him so much! He was the son I never had!

    Thank you for sharing Lola, and your beautiful photos. What kind of a dog is she? She’s so lovely!

    • January 24, 2020 at 6:26 am

      Thank you Marissa, she’s a Bichon. I know you miss your sweet boy 🐾

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