Make It Count!

I love springtime!

Springtime is a time of new beginnings and burgeoning promises. Not only are the days growing longer and warmer but the buds on trees and bushes are literally exploding into leaves and blossoms that carry within them the promise of shady shelters, fresh fruit and new seedlings.

This time of year I spend more and more hours wandering the winding trails of our local Five Rivers MetroParks, (mostly Eastwood) breathing in the fresh aromas of nature and witnessing the promise of new life in the arbor of boughs above me and the tangle of brush beside the path. Red-winged Blackbirds serenade the sunrise hoping to attract a mate. Song Sparrows sing lustily from the bushes. Yellow Warblers, Yellow-Rumped Warblers and male Goldfinches add brief flashes of yellow to the bright green foliage. Chattering Belted Kingfishers flit from tree to tree along the lakeshore. American Robins hop here and there hunting for worms. Bright red Northern Cardinals search through the freshly mown grass looking for scattered seeds beneath a nearby pine tree. A beautiful Red-Tailed Hawk, perches in a tree intently searching for any movement on the ground behind the mower that slowly passes back and forth in yet another grassy field. (I even saw Turkey Vultures mating in a tree at Eastwood last week. That was a first for me.) This week I have discovered the nesting holes of a Red-Bellied Woodpecker and a Carolina Wren and I have watched a pair of Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers as they were constructing their delicate nest. Just yesterday I spotted my first Eastern Meadowlark of the year and Roger told me that Bubba, his male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird friend, has returned to his yard so they will soon be dancing among the wildflowers! Promise upon promise! Smile after smile!

And that is just a few of  my encounters with wild creatures with feathers. Other wildlife like deer, foxes, groundhogs, opossum, beavers… everyone is out there enjoying the wonders of springtime!

But nothing in the wild makes my spirit soar like the sighting of an American Bald Eagle.

Monday, as I was viewing the Treetop Palace a woman walking her dog passed by and wondered what I was looking at. When I told her about Jim and Hope she was ecstatic and thrilled to learn that there were eagles nesting nearby. That afternoon I was walking along the lake and I paused to talk to a gentleman who had heard about the eagles and wanted to know from where he could best view them. I always smile when someone approaches me and asks, “Excuse me. Do you know anything about the eagles that are supposed to be around here?” As we conversed I interjected, “If you really want to see a wild Bald Eagle, look up!” and I pointed to Hope as she circled overhead. On Tuesday I was at the nearby Wright Brothers’ Memorial National Park with about 40 other people waiting for a group of WWII era, B-25 Mitchell bombers to fly by as they commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Dolittle Raiders’ bombing of Tokyo that took place in April of 1942, just 4 months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As we waited at the memorial which sits atop a high bluff overlooking Huffman Prairie where Wilbur and Orville Wright perfected their flying machines, we spotted Jim circling over Huffman Dam. The droning B-25s were classy and the roaring B-1 bombers that flashed overhead to close the ceremonies were thrilling, but neither were as classy or as thrilling as the sight of that lone eagle silently and effortlessly circling in the sky.

Speaking of the thrills of eagle watching, in our last post I mentioned that Jim and Hope seemed to be feeding at least two eaglets in the palace nursery. The number of trips to the lakes and the visible activity at the nest certainly appeared to indicate a duo of eaglets but we could only see one bobblehead at a time. (Any parent of twins will tell you that when one baby sleeps the other demands to be fed so we were never sure if we were seeing the same eaglet every time.) Until yesterday when I captured a series of images that clearly show two eaglets!

IMG_2347etSs

The images were taken from that 1/2 mile distance so they are what they are quality-wise, but you can clearly see two eaglets enjoying the spring warmth under Mother Hope’s watchful and very protective eye.

Two hungry mouths call for a lot of fish so that series of images started with this image…

IMG_2365e2tStsand included this one.

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Jim brings them in, drops them off, catches his breath and then flies off for more. Oh, the joys of parenthood. They can make even the best parents wonder, “What were we thinking?” before they find a place to sit and mutter quietly to themselves for a while.

RGP 968

Springtime is indeed a great time to be outdoors, but springtime always leads to the heat and humidity of summer. Let me encourage you to visit a local park soon. You don’t even need hiking boots to enjoy the wildlife. Just bring along a comfy folding chair and a good book and sit under a tree or by a lake and let the wildlife come to you. You can’t truly experience it if you are not there but if your health or other issues limit your opportunity to join us, we will continue to try to bring the story to you by words and pictures because every season is a new chapter and every day is a new page and this story is worth sharing!

Springtime is short so make it count! (At least make it count to two, as in eaglets!)

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Published in: on April 20, 2017 at 9:29 pm  Comments (10)  

10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your writings fill me with joy and eternal hope!

  2. Two babies!! How exciting. Thanks for sharing the good news and the great pictures. We will definitely be out next week to check them out.

    Lynda

  3. No encouragement needed \ Thanks Jim.

  4. Oh….what a beautiful read this morning Jim! It makes my heart glad also, to walk in the woods and listen to and see the beauty of God’s creation! You penned it perfectly, as always! So glad to hear about Jim and Hope’s new offspring…..it does give us “hope” of a brighter tomorrow. Filled with promises of life and new beginnings…..thank you kind sir, for another fantastic read!

  5. Beautifully written Jim.

  6. Thank you Jeanette. My heart too is filled with joy, hope and peace inspired by the blessings through which I journey every day. I wish the letters on this keyboard could express it more clearly than the words they form but it is encouraging to know you find those blessings in our postings.

  7. Exciting indeed Lynda! Eaglets grow so rapidly that the palace will soon be all wings and feathers!

  8. Thank you Roger! Encouragement is what you give to so many. Hundreds appreciate your dedication to capturing the adventure (myself included)!

  9. Thanks Opal. You know my heart well and I am still amazed that I am able to witness the story as it unfolds. Quiet time in nature is restorative and inspirational as we momentarily leave the distractions behind and appreciate the beauty of it all.

  10. Thank you! We are glad we were able to share a bit of the beauty with you.


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