The Winter Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice: the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. Here in Dayton, Ohio it promises to be one of the wettest days of the year as well. The balmy 55 degree temperature and the constant, even heavy at times, rainfall has nowhere to go as it splashes on damp ground already saturated by several inches of melted snow. Flood warnings are being posted for local rivers and streams and the roadways that allow access to the park areas behind our flood-control dams have been gated. We are in for several days of water issues.

Jim and Cindy’s aerie high up in the top of their sycamore tree is not in danger of flooding. It would take a Noah-like flood to threaten their nest. But as winter arrives so will the colder temperatures and the challenges that they bring. Winter also brings with it more roaming eagles from elsewhere, many of which have already been seen passing through Jim and Cindy’s territory. The migratory waterfowl are making their annual appearance as well and we have had at least one Snowy Owl pass through the area. The leafless trees and underbrush are providing poor cover for the deer of Eastwood including the big, antlered buck that I found resting in the snow just 40 feet from the park’s main road this week.

Winter also brings a renewed friskiness to Jim and Cindy. They were seen locking talons above Eastwood Lake yesterday. Mating and the beginning of the 2014 nesting season are just weeks away.

All in all, it has been a very good year and the new year promises to be just as rewarding. As the rain continues to tap on the window pane and to dance on my rooftop like prancing reindeer hooves, it is the perfect time to sit here warm and dry in my recliner and browse through recently captured images of our local Bald Eagles and their family on this wet and dreary Winter Solstice.

Talon-lock practice. (Roger)

Talon-lock practice. (Roger)

Incoming! (Roger)

Incoming! (Roger)

Snowy perch. (Roger)

Snowy perch. (Roger)

"You lookin' at me?" (Roger)

“You lookin’ at me?” (Roger)

On the hunt. (Roger)

On the hunt. (Roger)

Young profile. (Ray)

Young profile. (Ray)

Regal eagle. (Ray)

Regal eagle. (Ray)

Ruffles and flourishes. (Ray)

Ruffles and flourishes. (Ray)

Watchful and alert. (Ray)

Watchful and alert. (Ray)

Balancing act. (Ray)

Balancing act. (Ray)

On the wing. (Ray)

On the wing. (Ray)

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Published in: on December 21, 2013 at 8:58 pm  Comments (6)  

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for a wonderful winter solstice newsletter. We at the American Eagle Foundation are currently rejoicing at the birth (yesterday) of E1 from a NE Florida nest that we sponsor. The second (and last) egg should pip tonight or tomorrow. More eagles for America.

  2. Thank you so much for your update. The birds look splendid as we move into winter.

  3. Thanks for the update Jim. I’m always glad to see your post on our eagles!!! I’m anxious to see what happens in the next few months with Jim and Cindy. They will start a new chapter in their book and we will just have to wait and see what God has in store for them. Have a blessed Christmas to you and your family. Polly.

  4. Congratulations Carolyn! What a wonderful Christmas present!

  5. They all look healthy and ready for the trials that lie ahead Gigi. They are already fishing the local rivers more than the lakes that are more subject to icing over.

  6. Whatever happens Polly, I will keep you posted. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.


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