Earlier this month we had a string of eight or nine days that were mostly clear, sunny, and warm. And, almost every day we saw a mature bald eagle “parked” in the big cottonwood that we can see from our porch. On a couple of those days we saw two mature eagles! Another large brown bird was also periodically in the area and we think that it may have been an immature bald eagle.
The double eagle picture on the left is one that Margaret took back in early November. That’s when we first became conscious of visits from a pair (male and female?). Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pictures of the “double eagle days” in the December stretch of warm weather. But, the photo on the right was taken on one of those December days when we did have a single, vigilant visitor.
Our eagle tree is located in the light green circle added to this screen shot from a Goggle satellite image. A couple of miles up Kanaranzi Creek we’ve seen an eagle perched in a large tree that’s part of the “Jungle” of trees and plum thickets up on “Rainbow Curve”. That sighting location is shown by the orange circle in the upper right part of the image. About four or five miles downstream, near where the Creek joins the Rock River, there are reports of eagle nests and we’ve seen them flying in that area marked by the larger orange circle in the lower left corner.
That string of warm days in early December got me all enthused about seeing eagles. But, there was nothing for two weeks! The weather was warm, with lots of the days that were cloudy. Don’t the eagles come around in cloudy weather? Maybe it’s the sky conditions rather than the warm temperatures? Then, on the day before and the day of the Winter Solstice, we had clear and warm weather. I kept a pretty close watch both of those days, but they didn’t show up.
Three days later on the morning of Christmas Eve, we suddenly saw a mature bald eagle in the cottonwood tree! There was a clear sky, but the temperature was below zero. Maybe sky conditions are more important than temperature in determining when they fly around? The next afternoon, Christmas Day, the sky was clear, the temperature was in the 30s, and we had another eagle in the cottonwood tree!
What’s the message here? It’s not about trying to see a pattern in the sightings. It’s about the surprises that Nature has for us. I looked for an eagle on the Winter Solstice and none showed up. But, then on Christmas day there was one! We can try to make an appointment with Nature based on perceived patterns, but the eagles still decide when to put in an appearance. The lessons that the Land shares with us are like prayers: sometimes they don’t directly answer the questions that we ask and sometimes we’re surprised to learn something that we haven’t even thought to ask about. We just have to keep alert in order to tune into the insights that Nature sometimes provides us.
POSTSCRIPT…. But wait! There’s more! Most of this post was written yesterday with the intent of putting it out today. This morning at around 8:00, I was having my coffee and watching the sunrise, when I happened to glance out the window. There were two mature bald eagles in the cottonwood tree! This photo was taken on this last day of 2020! They stayed only about half an hour and didn’t show up the rest of the day (I kept watch pretty carefully!). I’m thinking that Nature had the eagles put a benediction on this crazy year! There’s new hope and new light in 2021!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!