Thursday, February 20, 2014

Eagles Over Elmira

Snowy Morning
No Blue Sky Today
House Squats in Snow
Not a Hawk
Simply, Majestic
"The Eagle And The Hawk"

I am the eagle, I live in high country in rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky.
I am the hawk, and there's blood on my feathers.
But time is still turning, they soon will be dry.
And all those who see me, and all who believe in me
share in the freedom I feel when I fly.

Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops.
Sail o'er the canyons and up to the stars.
And reach for the heavens and hope for the future
and all that we can be, and not what we are. 

~John Denver

It's snowing so hard, I can't see the heavens, let alone reach for them. No blue-sky companion for me today. Yet, in the muffled sounds of the snowstorm I hear a twittering. It's the same bird-twittering I've heard outside my office window the past few days. I scan the snowy trees for a hawk. Nothing.

The old snow crunches beneath the lighter new snow as we walk back to the house. Grenny burrows his snout into the snow, biting at the harder clumps. Bobo runs off to chase mice in the south pasture and ignores my calls. On my third shout of , "" the twittering answers me and I see movement in a tall pine toward Elmira schoolhouse.

Dark tail-feathers shake off snow high above the ground. I think it's a hawk, but most of the body is hidden among pine boughs and snow. Rushing into the house to grab my camera with the telephoto lens, the birds lets out a shrill, "Scree." Then I see it; a white head with a curving yellow beak. This in no hawk.

Bursting out from the pine is a bald eagle. I'm so excited I miss the flight shot. He lands across Elmira Pond on the upper branch of a bare tamarack. Majestically, he sits. How else can a eagle perch but majestically? I whistle, trying to get him to talk back to me. His earlier twittering reminds me of the "Star Wars" robot, R2D2. He is silent to my whistles.

Throughout the day, eagles circle low over Elmira. They must be seeking the mice that hunker beneath the snow. At least four eagles have graced my day; my muses that surround me. Guess it's not so bad to be socked in with snow if eagles are my company.


  1. Wonderful! The writing, the photos, and the eagle. I can hear it, Screee!

    1. Thanks! Mr. Denver led the way...that's my favorite song and it's been stuck in my head today. Not a bad thing.

  2. Love John Denver. So the eagles pulled me in and John kept me reading and then I had the pleasure of your words!

    1. Glad John and the eagles got you to the page! Thanks for reading!

  3. Your duet with John Denver, and the eagles, is the kind of music my soul craves. How majestic... taking flight here. The thrill never wears off for me when it comes to sharing air space with bald eagles. When I see one, I drop everything to be in their presence. Thankful to share the gifts of your day.

    1. It's an undeniable presence when we share that air space (great phrase, by the way). Indeed they were gifts of the day.

  4. These pictures are wonderful! I love seeing the bald eagles, they fly along the waterways not far from our home. I pay more attention when the weather is warmer, will have to watch when we are in the area again.

    1. We have more eagles in the winter, but we do see them along Lake Pend Oreille all seasons. For some reason (I need to find out) they congregate in this valley along with the snow. Hope your warm weather and eagles return soon!

  5. You photos always portray a winter wonderland which is quite beautiful, but I have to say, today I am in awe of the eagle photos. Gorgeous!

  6. Eagle sightings do create that sense of awe. I think John Denver's song capture's it, too. Last year the eagles soared high over this valley and I enjoyed watching them circle and swoop, circle and swoop.