Monday, October 05, 2009

Evidence of Success

In the waning days of this past summer, I had been waiting for a visit from my son one long afternoon and for the third time in as many quarter hours went to the front door to look out to see if I could spot him coming down the driveway. The view was empty, the same as before. I opened the door anyway almost as if this action would encourage his arrival and something made me pause on the the threshold before closing the door. I didn't see or hear anything specific or even unusual, but there was a feeling I got that something was different or out of place. It was as if the air has been vacuumed away from the front of the house. I cannot explain it, but I really felt the change.

My first thought was that something was being very still and trying to hide in fear near the garden or beneath the leaves of the flowers. I scanned the front yard for an animal in the garden and scanned the outside of the fence for deer, but saw no movement or odd shape.

I gently stepped further onto my porch and just at that very second a large adult bald eagle flew across my front yard only twenty feet in the air and just 10 yards in front of me. He was gliding slowly and smoothly into the trees in the ravine on the other side. I caught my breath as I watched him disappear into the leaves in total silence. It was as if he was a ghost or a shadow of a great bird.

In the mid-1800's eagle watching was common in this area. Hunting, pesticides and habitat destruction had resulted in the loss of most of the bald eagles until decades of restoration work in the mid 1900's was implemented so that these dramatic birds of prey could return to safe roosting sites. If bald eagles now fly across my front lawn in such a magnificent ballet, I think we are succeeding. (Moment of truth: this photo was taken at another time and in another place.)


  1. Anonymous7:42 AM

    How lovely that would have been to see!! So majestic :)

  2. I would love to have seen that! The only place I have ever seen an eagle is at the Toronto Zoo.

    I was astonished how large those birds are!

  3. How wonderful to see such a sight in your own yard. There are Bald Eagles nesting (two adults and two fledglings) at Frank's cottage (in Southern Ontario) and we've been gifted with seeing them progress throughout the summer. I wish you many more sightings of this majestic creature.

  4. Years ago an eagle flew over my head as I was stepping out the front door. I'll never forget it, a magical moment. I've since seen then two more times here at home, though not as close as that first time.

  5. Isn't it awesome? I said your very words to Barry when we were driving north last week, about the number of
    owls, hawks, turkey vultures and other birds of prey. Having Bald Eagles back is like the icing on the cake!
    I hope your son showed up eventually too. =D

  6. Magic, isn't it? And you could sense it before actually seeing the bird!

  7. I think the fact you sensed its presence (without really knowing you were) is quite telling. Some people (okay, me) might say that the eagle was your totem and it was letting you know.

    A wonderful experience, well told. :) (I came via Hilary's blog.)

  8. Anonymous12:53 PM

    CONGRATS on the POTW mention over at Hilary's.

    There is something inexplicably magnificent about Eagles in flight. I never get over an up close encounter.

  9. Came over from Hilary's place. Congratulations for being mentioned in POTW!
    Love surprise to see the eagle.

  10. Anonymous5:06 AM

    Came over from Hilary's Smitten Image blog to meet a fellow POTW nominee. What a lovely story...breathtaking sight. We used to watch eagles circling overhead from the front of our Lavender farm in France. Mesmerizing.

  11. Came over from Hilary's too. Beautiful photo, never mind whether it was another time and place, it illustrates perfectly your story.
    Good thing you listened to your instincts and did not close the door!


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.