March 28, 2007

Eagles Around Town


It's been fun having a family of eagles overhead in my neighborhood the last few months. I live not too far from two natural areas along Lake Washington, which is plainly a place they like.

There are two adults with white heads and two juveniles. They're all HUGE and when you're lucky enough to have them fly by 20 yards overhead, you feel like you've had an experience of something wonderous.

To watch them soar and gyre and turn in the wind is truly a marvel. They seem to just fly for the joy of flying... idly riding the thermal currents higher and higher and higher. On one occasion, I was lucky enough to see one dive into Lake Washington after a fish. Very dramatic!

But mostly the eagles seem to pass their days wheeling about in the wind... without purpose... covering this entire area of town effortlessly. They'll show up anywhere. I've seen them out my studio window, soaring up in the clouds. I've seen them out on my bike rides, soaring over the buildings at the UW. I've seen them hunched up in foggy trees at the Arboretum, waiting for the grey to clear.

They must have something to do with the eagle nests in the Arboretum. Maybe they were born there, and are returning home. They definitely seem to be a family group... as often I'll see all four of them together, out soaring.

They never seem to stay in one place in the sky very long... in just a minute they've drifted a mile or two away. Just having them around is very enriching. Most people don't notice them... but I'm always on the lookout for them. I guess I've started to feel some kind of personal relationship with them.

Nature is a priceless commidity that modern society sadly overlooks for the most part. I guess it's sort of like PBS... it enriches our lives but it depends on private efforts to keep it going, as if somehow society would be just the same without it.

Here's a pitcher from my book 'The Dragon Painter', where the painter paints an eagle.


Anonymous said...

Hi John...I know how you feel about watching the bald eagles...I don't see them out of my window, but when I drive over to Point Defiance (I live in Tacoma), I watch them fly over the trees and by the Puget Sound.Awe inspiring to say the least. Also had chances to see falcons and small brown eagles up close as my cousin is a falconer. He trains them and also cares for injured eagles until they are ready to fly again.Once he has even had a young bald eagle.It's wing had been broken.
They are truly magnificent...I like to sit at Dalco Point which overlooks Commencement Bay and sketch them as they fly overhead. I also enjoy the seagulls as well. Oh well, enough already, don't mean to babble.

John Nez said...

Yes, they are amazing birds! It's easy to see why they were picked as the national symbololic fowl... even against Ben Franklin's recommendation of the Turkey.