Friday, November 30, 2012

For The Birds

Yesterday I got together with a friend to partake of an annual trek in these parts.  The annual influx of eagles to feast on the doomed salmon in Lake Coeur d'Alene.

They're here early this year.  I've heard the cold weather in Canada has driven them south ahead of their usual arrival time.

We decided to get a bite of lunch before heading out which was a mistake.  It was pouring when we left the restaurant but it didn't matter.  We were going to see the eagles.  And see them we did.

More are yet to come but we must have seen thirty or forty as we drove around the area.  Unfortunately I didn't have Hub's camera with the big lens, but I managed to get a shot or two.

What struck me was the people we encountered.  On our initial run to see what we could see, where they might be, we passed a lady in rain gear standing under an umbrella.  Her husband was in their car sipping coffee.  She looked so happy even though it was miserable.

A truck pulled over to let us pass.  The driver waved and so did we. We saw trees full of eagles, just sitting and waiting.

The lady was still there when we retraced our steps knowing we were in ripe territory.  We watched as a magnificent eagle swept down right in front of us, sending ducks scurrying.  The dived for lived for another encounter.  And there were many.

The rain stopped and the activity increased.  My video was being cranky and the birds not quite close enough to get good shots but just seeing them in such numbers is awe inspiring.  We moved on to another area where people were walking and biking along a trail.  The eagles would swoop into a tree top and the people would stop and stare transfixed.  And smile.  Everyone we saw was smiling.  The eagles touched a common chord.  Everyone loved seeing them, no matter the foul weather.

I was thinking our Idaho Congressional delegation should invite everyone in the administration and both houses of Congress to come out this week end when the eagles will be near their peak.  Let them see their national bird up close and personal in it's natural habitat.

Let them see how the people react to them and to each other in their presence.  The patience, good humor and courtesy they show.  How they swap stories and share information.  And smile.

It's pretty awesome to see what a bunch of birds can do for one's spirits.  They're so regal, so above pettiness and bickering.  Just serene beauty.  Maybe it would remind our politicians who we are and what they should be.

I love the eagles.  I never tire of seeing them.  Perhaps it's because of what they represent.  I wonder if it's still translatable.

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