I went to Hawrelak Park a downtown park that is adjacent to the river that flows through the city. We do attract eagles here to the open waters and some over- winter due to the water treatment plant where there is warm water spewing into the river and it stays open plus there is a good supply of ducks to eat. I met skiers that had seen a pair of eagles and I asked directions and got some pretty vague answers.” On the left side of the trail and up the trail a fair distance.” I could write a blog on knowing land marks and giving directions, good to know if you get injured and need to call for help.
Anyway, I set off by foot on the right-hand trail and kept my eyes geared to the tree tops to my “left” knowing that it would be before the bridge because I had asked. Someone that I met earlier called to me through the bushes and I switched to the trail on the left after back-tracking a couple of dozen metres thinking that by the time I got to “the spot” it would be too late. One woman came up the trail excitedly talking about an eagle and “had I seen it?” that she heard it was ‘near the bridge.” I told her “whoa! you are making so much noise, stop YAKKING so much” and told her that I too was looking. She kept going, at a jog, toward the bridge.Perusing the tree tops I saw it. At first I wondered if it was twigs shaped like an eagle and took a photo from a distance. As I got closer, I did see it although somewhat obscured by branches. I took more shots from both sides of the tree that it was perched in. Then the woman came back not having seen anything. I motioned to her to come to where I was and explained in low tones that I too, was excited and because I exhibited such a lack of social skills upon our first meeting , showed her the best perspective for getting a somewhat clear shot.
I was pleased that I had caught up to it after so many distractions and watched it for a few minutes.It looked right at me, then at the river. then flew away after a few more minutes and after I had taken a few more more shots of the river and the persistent chickadees.
I love seeing eagles. They are regal-looking and are one of the larger birds that rise to the heavens and pair for life. In native symbolism they come from the east direction of the medicine wheel , representing “illumination” and seeing things “from a higher perspective.” I was grateful and examined my own impatience at people who were helpful but not so helpful.
I saw the eagle three quarters of the way up a large deciduous tree beside an open area of the river across from the run-off at government hill west of the Groat bridge from the walking trail. It may come back and that at least gives you an idea where to look.And I will know where to look when I go back that way again.
Three Days of Snow
Joined a friend for lunch today then we went for a walk in the snow, bringing our cameras with us. It is treacherous driving with a lot of fender-benders but if I drive slow I can manage it. It helps that other people are being careful, too. It took me an hour to brush off my car on Wednesday night but I am glad I did it before Thursday morning or I may have been late for my appointment. I am trying to get on track with time management but I was late for lunch. There is some improvement because I called ahead to say that I was on my way.I am learning to say and think, “I will do better next time” rather than “I will try.”
We had a tasty lunch and I have to add I used her wash room and told her that I liked her kleenex box (see “A Cheap way to Decorate”) and she told me that she liked the colours and built the theme of the bathroom around the colours on the kleenex box! I told her that she must read my blog from a couple of days ago.
Outside it is a winter wonderland with heavy snow weighing down the branches and very grey with low light.When we got to the top of the river valley we saw two raptors which I thought were hawks but then was delighted to see that they were eagles, flying high and hard to see because the snow was falling. One was a full adult and one in its second or third year.This delighted us because we have done ceremony together in the native tradition and with the conversation we were having found this to be significant. So here are some snow scenes, winter has definitely arrived.
Must Return to this Place
Today I went to a location in the city near a water treatment station where the warm run-off attracts various birds in the winter. I had also heard that an eagle or even two were spotted in the area a month ago. What were my chances?
I was amazed by the presence of hundreds of mallards floating downstream then flying up the river, over and over. A friendly passerby pointed out to me that this is how they search for food. There was a lot of open water for this time of year even with the warm run-off and I took time to watch them and listen to hundreds of wing beats and swoosh as they hit the water. A couple of dogs approached me with great enthusiasm and I obliged then by throwing the sticks that they carried in their mouth…instant friendship!
After taking images of some plants, watching the ducks and watching the sky I noticed a possible raptor flying very high. I encouraged it in my mind to come closer, and it did. It took a couple of sweeps up and down the river sending the ducks in flight for their lives before it returned to higher hatmospheres. I missed getting a shot of what I recognised as a first-year Bald Eagle other than a sloppy shot of a ghost image amongst the scattering ducks -did manage to get a long-distance shot. My sloppy shots are included here because I was so excited and promised myself to return to this place to face my new challenge-get closer and get more.