You know you’re in Florida when you’re sitting in a rocking chair in your living room and you look out the window to see an osprey fly by clasping a large catch perfectly aligned with its direction of flight. Then, a few weeks later you see the same thing out of your car window while driving down the highway. I’m always grotesquely amused by this scene and wonder why the osprey would hold its prey in a position that seems so awkward for its talons. Today I realized it’s usually a good sized fish the birds grip this way and it must significantly reduce the drag during flight.
I sometimes think this flight must be an amusing out-of-body experience for the fish as it sees trees and houses in vivid detail for the first time, that perhaps the exhilaration could negate the sense of impending doom. Then I think of the closest possible analogous experience a human could have. It’d have to be under water because the fish is struggling to breath through its gills so the best thing I could come up with was being held, face forward, in the jaws of a large shark as you’re carried swiftly through a beautiful coral reef the likes of which you’ve never seen, but you probably wouldn’t be taking in the view.
I used to be way better at drawing sharks when I was a kid even though they were mostly in profile and ended up being mutant sharks with crab claws.