A Majestic Avian Encounter

A few times since we have been living on our little ranch atop this knoll/plateau (I have no idea what the appropriate geologic term would be for where we are), I have thought I glimpsed a pair of golden eagles. There have been 2 huge birds of prey that briefly soared by our back deck and it has been an uncertainty for quite a while as to what I saw.

Today found my husband and I sitting in our family room with very gray and overcast skies when he startled me by saying “Look!” and indicating out the large windows overlooking our valley. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I realized just what glided by our porch railing. There was no mistaking this winged visitor.

For the very first time in my life I was in the presence of a real bald eagle.

By the time I had jumped to my feet, grabbed my camera from the side table and taken a few steps to the window it was already hundreds of feet higher than our deck.

Unfortunately, no detailed or close-up shots this time. It was only luck and a 200mm lens that got these “barely there” pictures. These are edited, cropped within an inch of their life and zoomed in as far as I could reasonably go.

But what a treat to see this majestic bird in person for the first time. Strong and solitary, it glided up the air currents of our hills and valley as if it had been flying here since the beginning of time.

After I snapped as many pictures as I felt worth trying for, I stood barefoot on our porch stairs with temperatures in the thirties taking in the moment. Who knows, it could be years again until I see another one.

Maybe never.

What an encounter. I hope it returns someday and I can record this beautiful creature with the kind of visual representation the emblem of our country should have.

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