Thursday, September 30, 2010
Yesterday was an exciting day on The Lake. Julia was sitting enjoying the view of the water from our bedroom when she saw a large bird flying across The Lake. It landed in the dead branches of a tree about 40 or 50 yards away. After she got out the binoculars and the bird book she determined it to be an immature Bald Eagle. Apparently Bald Eagles are considered immature up to about 4 years old. She called to me and I looked with our second set of binoculars - a present from our daughter Sarah and son-in-law Roy. The Eagle was precariously perched on the dead stump of a branch near the top of the tree eating a fish. It is indeed a magnificent looking bird as it stares imposingly at you. By now four large black Crows had appeared and were sitting on branches close to him. He eyed them imperiously as he brutally tore at the now almost dead fish - it's amazing how long they continue to struggle, even when there is hardly anything left of them. The Crows, took off and landed, flying very close to the Eagle, I suppose trying to get him to drop the fish. But he didn't even seem to see them, taking hardly any notice even when their wings almost touched him. It seemed foolish to me as the Eagle could have dispatched one of them easily. I can only assume that they knew he already had food, so wouldn't go after them. They were just hoping to distract him enough that he would drop it and then leave so they could eat. But no such luck, he ate the whole thing. By now we were watching without the binoculars, suddenly I said to Julia, "All the Crows left." and she relied "No there is still one at the top of the tree." I got the binoculars up to look and what was there was not a Crow but an Osprey! If he had come to challenge the Eagle for the fish he was too late but his appearance had certainly scared the Crows off. We watched the stand off for a while as the Eagle cleaned up any little pieces stuck to his talons and the branch. It was when I looked around to see if anything else was happening that I noticed the Great Blue Heron standing in his usual spot on the end of our pier, looking down into the water. When I glanced back at the dead tree both the Eagle and the Osprey had vanished. It was as if nothing had happened. These little dramas happen all the time on The Lake - and everywhere else in the World - usually without being noticed. But every once in a while we are privileged to be a part of them. I looked back at my pier in time to see the Heron spread his six foot wings, tuck his long legs out behind him like the tail of a kite , and launch himself gracefully into the air, just, somehow he flies so close to the water that he appears almost to be apart of it.