Truly Thankful

An interesting thing happened to me yesterday as I was making my daily rounds in the cool, damp air of “Eagleland”. As I drove from Eastwood Lake to Huffman Lake I spotted an adult Bald Eagle high in the sky over Huffman Dam. The leafy tree canopy in the parking area near the lake obstructed my view of the soaring eagle and I was unable to keep an eye on it. That is when I noticed Ray, our other big-lens contributor, parked near the lake with his camera at the ready. I parked beside Ray’s SUV and we chatted through open windows to shelter ourselves from the damp, biting wind. I mentioned the eagle that I had just seen drifting somewhere high above us. After we had talked for a few minutes I saw the reflection of a low-flying eagle in the tinted glass of the SUV’s side window. The flat profile of its massive wings skirting the treetops behind me was unmistakable. “There’s an eagle!” I exclaimed, and we both immediately repositioned our vehicles for a better view. We spotted Cindy as she passed just above the trees, circled low over the water and then swooped up onto a bare limb, several hundred feet down the side of the lake. There, just a few feet from where Cindy landed, we found Jim, perched in a neighboring tree. This is one of the images that I captured of the lovebirds.

Jim and Cindy at Huffman Lake

Jim and Cindy at Huffman Lake

What is it about Bald Eagles that I find so exciting? After 5 years of following them, photographing them and just watching them, I still find them amazing. Is it the sheer power that they exhibit when taking flight? Is it their effortless spiral as they soar higher and higher into the sky? Is it their sacrificial dedication to each other and to the incubating of their eggs and the raising of their eaglets? Is it the gracefulness of the way they hunt or the beauty I find in their seven-foot wingspans? There are so many things that make a Bald Eagle fascinating to me and the following pictures that Roger captured in today’s fog and haze illustrate a few of them.

Lovebirds in the early morning fog.

Lovebirds in the early morning fog.

Quiet companionship.

Quiet companionship.

Cindy being Cindy.

Cindy being Cindy.

Whatever it is, as I saw that reflection of Cindy in Ray’s window I remembered how as a young boy I would lie in the grass and strain my eyes hoping to catch a glimpse of a passing eagle. I can only remember one time when my searching was rewarded. But I would lie in the warmth of the sunshine and imagine what it would be like to experience the thrill of soaring across the heavens. And I recalled too my young heart’s longing to see a wild eagle, and now, after so many decades, I am privileged to be able to see Jim and Cindy or their offspring almost every day. For that blessing, and so many more, I am truly thankful.

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Published in: on October 24, 2013 at 4:35 am  Comments (8)  

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I absolutely love reading your blogs!! Unfortunately, I’m still dreaming of watching an eagle fly overhead. There are no eagles in mass. Some day……..
    I also love your style of writing, so professional. I could go on and on, but I will just say thank you!

    Marylee

  2. What a great issue! Thank you for blogging about your wonderful eagles. I enjoy these so much!

  3. Why thank you Marylee. I so appreciate your kind words. Eagle populations are recovering so if you have water and fish and unclaimed territory, it is just a matter of time!

  4. Thank you Carolyn. Still waiting for word on AEF’s Destiny. Less leaves equals better viewing!

  5. Looking SO forward to watching the “nesting” phase and when the EagleCam is back up and running… Can’t wait to see what Jim and Cindy have in store for us this year and next!

  6. Enjoyed reading your words and so glad they are together and the pictures are always so unique. Many thanks.

  7. You and me both KeeKee. Currently all systems are go for a reactivation in February. We have had some major people leave the project this year but the Boonshoft Museum, Copp System Integrators, McAfee Heating and Air, The McAfee Foundation, City of Dayton Water Department and your Eastwood Eagle Watchers are all committed to another eagle-full year!

  8. Thank you again for your kind words. Wait until you see the pictures in my next post!


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