I have delayed, avoided, and postponed writing this because I wanted to find the words to convey my recent profound experience.
For more than a month, we have had Bald Eagles visiting on our quiet little dead-end street, unusual in the middle of one of the largest, fastest growing cities in Washington state.
I’ve lived in my home for almost 44 years and have sometimes seen eagles circling high above. Twice, I was even gifted with a low fly-by right in my driveway! But I have only seen them land once before. (I wrote a whole story about that dramatic event but I’ll save it for a later post!)
A few weeks ago on my daily walk I just happened to spot, well actually hear some sky activity. A couple of Bald Eagles, apparently cruising our neighborhood for prey or a nesting site (although it seems late in the year for that latter). Not sure why they are hanging out here. (Hope all the neighbors are keeping their pet Gerbils inside.)
It was a really gray day which made it impossible for my hard-working point and shoot Canon to get a good shot when they landed in a tree top.
And then, a few days later, I was at my computer sending a favorite link to my new blogging friend, Lisa, at https://dailymusing57.com/ (a terrific Blog, by the way). The link is to a live camera for the Decorah Eagles. As I was typing, I heard that unmistakable eagle-screaming right outside my window! I ran outside onto my deck (without my camera-Dang!) and witnessed the most amazing thing.
This deck is very large, about 600 square feet, and wide open. It’s actually the roof over an old 3 car garage. Before the trees in my neighborhood matured, from my deck I could see the Space Needle and the Olympic Mountains! And every year, lounging on this deck, I would watch the big fireworks shows in July or the Blue Angels performing in August.
But I had never seen a show like this one! There were FIVE BALD EAGLES circling my above me!! Like a small Convocation! (you gotta be impressed I knew that word!) It looked like two were fending off or chasing the other three. Maybe it was a territory battle or some kind of mating ritual. I don’t know!
The twosome flew very close together in large and then smaller and smaller circles. They landed on the top of the biggest tree right in front of my house. The other three flew off into the distance.
In all these years living in my house, no eagle has ever landed right in front of my house before! Maybe I was just tapped into Eagle Energy on that day or something. I mean, what are the odds I’d be typing away about the Decorah Bald Eagles at the exact moment my local ones appear? I have often wondered if Eagles are a “totem” (spirit animal) for me. Supposedly, if an animal presents itself to you three times, they are yours! So I looked them up.
For the next several days, the Pair that won the turf battle, hung out in some trees right up the street from me.
Finally, a sunny day. I shot so many pictures, I broke my camera…literally. I now have to use glass tape to keep the battery door closed.
Now my neighbors all know about our visitors. I am the longest (and oldest) resident on our street and the self-appointed Wildlife Reporter for our neighborhood e-mail list. When I am in the street with my camera, looking up, they stop their cars and ask where the Eagles are today? There have been many emails of sightings, almost as many as when there is a coyote prowling around. On Easter morning, several households were treated to a dramatic Bald Eagle show during outside Easter Egg Hunts. Great opportunities to teach the younger ones about these majestic birds!
Part of the “show” was a couple of Crows dive-bombing these two Eagles, who seemed to be simply sitting there…but I bet there was a Crow’s nest near by.
This whole experience has totally inspired me to upgrade with WordPress so I can share short videos on my blog. And I think there is a way to capture single frames from a video but I don’t know how. Here is the opening frame of a great video I got of that epic sky-battle. (It’s a photo of my computer screen, so sort of a blurry “screenshot.)
In recent weeks, almost every clear morning and evening this beautiful twosome sits at the top of my tree to watch the sun rise or set. They remind me of a scene in the movie City of Angels (Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage) where all the Angels are lined up on the beach to watch the Sunset. (It’s in this Goo Goo Dolls video)
I have been house and dog sitting for dear friends this last week, so I have missed their visits, but every day I drive the 25 miles back to my house hoping for a sighting. I pay lots of attention to my three cats for a while, pretending that’s why I’m home, but then, I go out on my deck looking for my Bald Eagles. I miss them. (Do NOT tell my kitties that’s really why I’m home. They are so sensitive!)
One morning, at the place I’m staying, I looked up from writing this story to see a huge bird right outside on the fence…some kind of Hawk, I think. Couldn’t get my camera focused fast enough but here he is.
Anybody recognize this pretty? I thought to myself “Hmm, settling for a Hawk? It’s just not the same.” but when I looked up the Native American symbolism for Hawk, it was so close to Eagles I decided I’d better start paying better attention to their message for me.
I have to admit that with all this activity and totem research, I am now taking these Bald Eagle visits very personally. I’m looking at my current life differently and as usual, with a “message from the Universe”, there is a mixture of wonder, awe, and Duh!
If I knew how to thank these birds, I would.
I mean, I’m not going to sacrifice one of my cats or anything, but I am truly grateful for their amazing and persistent presence.
What an Earth Day morning I’ve had…nothing short of miraculous!!
I apparently woke myself up before daylight fretting about how I could respond to the WordPress Photo Challenge this week. The topic this week is Earth, perfect given today is such a special day, but overwhelming in it’s vast and endless possibilities. As is often the case, I just can’t choose one picture! So here is a photo journal in honor of Earth Day.
I love photographing plant life!
I am thrilled with landscape shots, especially mountains
Sunrise and sunset are, in my opinion, Natures purest art form, and it’s a brand new canvas every day!
I love animals, especially birds.
Don’t even get me started on water. Ahh, the ocean…
All of these things seem to capture Earth for me…
I thought I might do this post about the pair of Bald Eagles that have been hanging out in my tree for the last 3 weeks. They were there with me this morning for 2 hours during a stunning Earth Day sunrise…
But, I have been collecting photos in a particular and slightly odd category for quite a while, just waiting for the right “topic” to inspire me to post some of them. Today seems like the day.
It started with a very powerful waking dream one afternoon. In my non-chemically altered state (I promise) I became a native inhabitant of the Northwest, maybe 200 years ago. Here’s what I dreamed.
One day I was simply enjoying the afternoon sky when all of a sudden I saw a strange narrow white cloud, shooting a perfect line across the bright blue expanse. It was moving rapidly and though quite pointed at the front end, it spread out into thicker rows of tiny clouds, all in a straight-ish line. I thought this must be a special message from Father Sky and wondered if I was supposed to find a man to interpret. And then I knew…Father Sky and Mother Earth were one in the same…both identically important and equally powerful. Even more significant, that one could not provide it’s individual sustenance to and for EARTH without the other. Different, but equal. Differing, but the same. Separate, but connected.
When I shook myself out of my revery, all I could think of was that Contrails did not exist back then and if one had streaked across the sky, how in the world would it have been explained by any who had witnessed one? Can you imagine? What would you have thought???
Maybe this doesn’t seem like an Earth Day post to you but there you have it.
I have become obsessed this week with Shadow photos but did not think about all the different definitions of the word until this morning.
Here are some of the shots I took inside to show how cool a shadow can be sometimes, cast from the sun on different objects…
My bathroom wall at sunset
Then I went outside to look for interesting shadows. As those who live way up here in the Northwest know, we can go for days and days without shadows of any kind outside.
So I was lucky to come across these…
And then I waited for a long time for these…
It was getting to be late in the day and I remembered playing a shadow game with my grandsons when they were younger…out on the back lawn, so I headed out to see what my shadow looked like.
This is as close as I get to a “selfie”. Don’t I look tall and thin??
But then, as it darkened outside, I began thinking of all the other connotations for the word “shadow”.
I debate with some of my Psychotherapist colleagues who believe we all have this “shadow” part of us…a permanent dark side we can do nothing about. I don’t see it that way. I prefer to think of it as having unfinished work or areas of growth. We can bring “light” onto anything…sometimes simply by changing our perspective.
As I was pondering these various definitions, I remembered a photo I had taken recently, as a follow up to one of my very early posts. This particular story was very “dark”, so much so that I even warned my readers of its disturbing content. I wrote a lot about an incident as an essential part of my own healing. James and I witnessed a horrific car accident, resulting in the very graphic death of a toddler. Here is a photo of the scene just a few days after the collision.
And then on the one year anniversary, I went back to the location and took this shot.
But for this slightly ominous shadow, it’s like nothing bad has ever happened on this corner in Bellevue…like the sweet little girl named Sraddha Pancha Karla never existed.
I do like how the shadow sort of refuses to cover the spot where she died…
Read more about the accident here, but be forewarned…