June 23, 2011
Yesterday was a gloomy, gray, windy first day of Summer. (Enough, La Nina! Time for you to La Amskray)
On our first walk of the day, Rusty the Good Collie and I heard the call of our resident bald eagles. Looking up, we saw the family (Mom, Dad and the Twins) soaring in circle formation high above the tree tops. Spiraling gracefully, they held their suspension in the cloudy sky without one single movement, not one flap of their wings. I took a deep, cleansing breath, pulled my shoulders back to stand up straight and started over on our walk at a brisk pace this time. No more gloom and doom. Thank you, Eagles. They don’t care about the weather. In fact, they like this wind very much. Time for me to have an attitude adjustment.
Eagles are a totem to me. A sign. A spiritual message. Several years ago, our youngest son was in a devastating accident. Our drive home from the hospital was tense and traumatic. Kevin and I tried our best to think positive, to pray and just stay upright. When we pulled into the driveway, a juvenile eagle was soaring above our home. He stayed there, circling above us until we were inside. A rush of peace went through us—the confidence of knowing that our son would be OK, that we were strong enough to make it through this. I believe the eagle was an angel. Our son is doing very well, healing and creating amazing art.
Later, on our evening walk, the Twins surprised us. They did a fly-by, swooping through the neighbor’s yard and zipping past us so close I could hear their feathers rustle. One of them dipped his wings to the side and veered off to the fir tree. The other cocked her head and winked at us. In a blink, they were gone. Rusty and I just smiled. How cool was that?
We have several wild neighbors that wander down the alley; raccoons, coyotes, deer, rabbits and an otter family. There are also flocks of colorful goldfinches, pine sisken, robins, juncos, sparrows and hummingbirds that we keep fed, fat and sassy. And the crows are funny, obnoxious residents that act like they own the place. They keep the eagles on their toes, constantly scolding them and harassing them in the sky. We hope they keep the eagles away from their nests and the cute little bunnies in the yard.
We seem to be on the eagles’ flight path this year. We often see one of the parents sitting in the tippy top of the fir tree, watching and calling to the kids. There have been several training missions with fish parts dropped in the alley. The eagles toss bits and pieces back and forth, then speed straight up in the air and tangle with each other on the way down. It makes me think of our three sons and how they would wrestle in the house, knocking over tables, banging into walls and grab-assing and laughing loudly. Kevin was usually in the mix, too. (Somebody told me that mothers of sons have a special place in Heaven. Oh heck, yeah.)
One afternoon last summer, there was a commotion down near the bluff. A chicken crashed through the window of one of the cabins, landing on the kitchen counter. We checked with Wendy, but their chickens in the coop were all accounted for. We speculated that one of the eagles had dropped their prey, maybe after a wrestling match with another eagle. It was a mystery where this chicken came from. Did somebody else have a chicken coop nearby? What kind of chicken was it? Ameraucana? Sabelpoot? Little Red Hen?
Apparently, someone down on the beach has been regularly feeding the eagles a fresh chicken—a perfectly plucked and cleaned, fresh from the grocery store, plastic wrapped, roasting chicken! Maybe Draper Valley? Foster Farms? I hope it’s local.
Well, if our eagles are well fed, then maybe the bunny rabbits are safe.