Something In The Air

The changing of the seasons touches me.

I am one of those people who anticipate the new season’s arrival as the current season grows older. During the cold, dark days of winter I look forward to the warmth of spring. As spring’s budding leaves grow larger I await the coolness of their shaded recesses in the hot, humid air of summer. As summer wears on I become eager to experience autumn’s brief explosion of color and renewed freshness. And after the leaves have fallen I find myself excited by the first snowfall of winter and the glistening beauty of the blanketed landscapes beyond my frosty windows.

The windowsill of our living room’s bay window is redecorated as the seasons change and so with fall’s arrival it takes on a colorful, festive theme.

Our autumn window.

Our autumn window.

Not everyone appreciates my feeble attempt to capture indoors a bit of the magic of the quarterly transitions. My eldest daughter saw the newly decorated window and lamented, “Oh great, I see that autumn has thrown up in our living room again.”

But the changing seasons also bring new opportunities to view the wonders of nature and the wildlife that dwells therein. Fallen leaves mean barren branches and increased visibility of the birds that inhabit the trees. Jim and Cindy’s Treetop Palace is now hard to miss in the well field’s landscape. And, right on cue, our local eagles are beginning to bring in new sticks to freshen up the place as they start to anticipate a new nesting season! By January they will be spending most of their days enlarging the aerie.

Autumn is also the onset of courting season when Jim and Cindy will become increasingly obsessed with the companionship of their mate. Whether perched side by side on a leafless limb, soaring together in broad circles across the skies or tumbling earthward while locked talon to talon, courting season is an amazing time to be an eagle in love. But instinct-driven behavior also means that young, pair-bonded couples are looking for nesting territories of their own so Jim and Cindy have once again begun their daily patrols of their domain to assure that their boundaries are respected.

In late September I had spent an early morning at Eastwood Lake watching the wildlife and looking for our elusive eagles. As I was leaving the park, a dark form glided across my path. Even before I could focus my eyes my pulse quickened and I began to smile. This was a very familiar form. It was like catching a distant glimpse of an old friend, recognizing them at once and being flooded with remembrances and emotions. I watched as he approached the tower at the northeast corner of the lake, turned to his left and landed in the remnants of his favorite tree in that corner.

Tower and Power!

Tower and Power!

This too was familiar for this has been his morning patrol route for years. Although half of the tree had fallen in a spring storm, this perch provides a clear view of Eastwood Lake. For several minutes Jim sat and surveyed his surroundings as small gusts of wind ruffled his feathers.

Feathered Beauty.

Feathered Beauty.

Then, assured that all was well at the lake, he released his perch and skirted the treetops along the northern shore as he headed west. About mid-way down the length of the lake he turned north and disappeared beyond the treetops continuing his usual route.

(Speaking of “usual routes”, the reconstruction of the Harshman Road bridge across The Mad River begins in earnest this Monday, November 16th. Although traffic will be maintained throughout the two-year project, it will be reduced to one lane in each direction and congestion will be a headache. During this past summer utilities have been relocated and preliminary work completed for the project that will include the demolition of the existing structure. The new bridge will feature a wider roadway and new left-turn lanes as well as a pedestrian/bicycle path that will better connect Eastwood Park south of the river to Eastwood Lake north of the river. Access to both parks may be compromised at times so I have already scoped out some parking areas within about a 1/2 mile walking distance of the park in hopes of keeping an eye on our eagles. Although the work is only about 1/4 mile from the nest and over one of their primary hunting areas, Jim and Cindy are fairly accustomed to construction vehicles and the associated noise. I have talked to some of the workers just to make them aware of the eagles’ presence in the area.)

The seasonal change is impossible to miss. The holidays of autumn and winter bring times with family and friends and a chance to remember those people and things that warm our hearts and homes. As I count my blessings this month, you are among them. Thank you all for following along on this adventure. Whether it is a new freshness, falling leaves, a cold chill, the aroma of baking pies or the familiar, gliding form of dark feathers, may you smile with every realization that there is something in the air!

Published in: on November 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm  Comments (18)  

18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I really enjoy your writing and look forward to each one.

  2. Thank You Jim, It was good to hear from you and an update on our Dayton Eagles. Diane

  3. Wonderful…I enjoy your insights!

  4. Thank you for keeping us up to date with our eagles and other nature things! You Autumn window is beautiful despite your daughters description! Faye

  5. Jim,

    I appreciated your updates throughout the year.

    Are this year’s young eagles OK as far as you know?

    Steve Link

  6. Thank you John. Sometimes it helps me to empty my head of all those words rattling around in there.

  7. Thank you Diane. I am glad that there was finally something to report.

  8. Thank you for your kind words Carole. In our lives as in nature, seasons come and go and it is a joy to embrace the beauty that are concealed in each one.

  9. Thank you Faye. I will let her know that you approve!

  10. Thank you Steve. Our eaglet is doing well and very independent.

  11. Jim, I appreciate so much all the work you put into your blog. It means a lot to me. I live alone so you, Jim and Cindy, their offspring, their territory and their wildlife neighbors that you write about have become like an extended family to me. Your blogs are written as if what ever you are writing about is written in real time. Jim, you have such a talent for writing.

    Jim, despite what your daughter thinks, I like your autum window. It very much reminds me of the decorating we did at home when we were children.

    May I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, Happy New Year.

    Sandy Stricklin
    Omaha, NE

  12. Your words have touched my soul this early morning….now i must go and look for our eagle Harriet…she had to find a new mate and is training him in bonding and mating!
    Judy in SW florida

  13. Thank you Sandy. The followers of this blog are from various walks of life and yet the wonders of Creation touch us all in such a comforting way. It amazes me how some people pass by the beauty that surrounds us and fail to notice its existence. If my postings move you it is because God’s beauty is hiding in the words I type and His exuberant love for us seeps into the story. May this Christmas and new year be full of the knowledge of His love for you and the wonders of His grace.

  14. Thank you Judy. It means a lot to me to know that my words have touched you but the power in those words comes from the beauty of Creation and all of the blessings that lie therein. I have closely followed the struggles of your nest and the sorrowful events of the year. I hope that all goes well as the new pair-bond is strengthened and I look forward to reports of healthy eaglets in the future!

  15. Love the way you write.Thank you for many years of updates. Please continue
    To bless us with news about Jim and Cindy
    Don and susan

  16. Thank you Don and Susan. Jim and Cindy are amazing to watch and a lot of fun to write about. I hope to continue reporting on them for many more years.

  17. Thank you yet again for “taking me there” with you! Your words always touch the heart and these beautiful Eagles never fail to touch my soul!! Have a very blessed Christmas and New Year!

  18. Thank you Joleen. “Come along” anytime!

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