Clise's Cornucopia-Memorial Day

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. There certainly was a lot going on in the region.

I was able to see my cousin Brian Dulaney and his wife Peggy. Technically, I guess, Brian is my second cousin. He and my mom were first cousins. His mother and my mom’s dad were brother and sister.

Brian grew up at Kanawha Head along with his brother Tony.

It was nice catching up and sharing some old family stories. It had been several years since I last saw Brian and Peggy.

Apparently, I’m their last relative still living in West Virginia. That’s a weird thought to me. I’m not sure why, but it just seems odd to be the last anything.

I’ve been working on my fishing skills lately. I’ve caught a few. Mostly bluegill. I saw a huge bass trolling along the bank. He wasn’t interested in anything I had to offer that day.

I’ve been going to Stonewall Jackson Lake and Stonecoal Lake quite a bit.

The lake is a flood control project of the Pittsburgh District of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and named for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, a native of Lewis County.

My buddy, Justin, and I used to fish for bass there a lot before he joined the Marines. Actually, he fished for bass and I just played around catching bluegill one after another.

Stonecoal Lake Wildlife Management Area is located on 2,985 acres in Lewis and Upshur counties.

The lake was built in 1972 to provide water to Allegheny Energy’s coal-fired power plant in Harrison County. Now it provides me with a nice place to fish and watch for wildlife.

Stonewall Jackson lake is also good for wildlife.

There are several osprey nests at the lake.

The osprey or more specifically the western osprey (Pandion haliaetus) — also called sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk — is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey with a cosmopolitan range. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 24 inches in length and 71 inches across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts.

The osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica, although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.

As its other common names suggest, the osprey’s diet consists almost exclusively of fish. It possesses specialized physical characteristics and exhibits unique behavior to assist in hunting and catching prey. As a result of these unique characteristics, it has been given its own taxonomic genus, Pandion and family, Pandionidae. Three subspecies are usually recognized; one of the former subspecies, cristatus, has recently been given full species status and is referred to as the eastern osprey.

Their diet consists of 99 percent fish. If you have ever witnessed an osprey catch a fish then you know how powerful and precise they are in their catch.

Their talons are sharp and powerful making it nearly impossible for a fish to escape once it has been picked up by the bird.

It is an awesome thing to see.


More In