Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 149, Thursday, 6/5/08, Year Four Dancer & Daedee: Snow Falling on Eagles

Hello Eagle Friends,

Today we had overcast skies and temperatures in the mid 70s and with severe thunderstorms warnings on the horizon coupled with a flash flood watch for the entire state of Minnesota.

I wasn't worried about any flooding today, tomorrow, however, may be a different story. As I work on this writing lightening and thunder is breaking my concentration
and demanding a piece of todays' story.

I stopped at nest 7 first today and found there was no activity there.

At nest 1 I hardly had stepped out of my vehicle when I noticed three female tiger swallowtails flitting across the sandy path and pausing to take drink from the earth.
What a beautiful sight it was to enjoy, photographing it was secondary.

Then a click beetle flew in and hit me and then flew into the grasses. Those beetles are so bottom heavy I'm surprised they fly at all. Every June, so far, I have been flown into by a reckless beetle who can't maneuver his own weight.

Daedee was on the nest with the twins when I arrived at my main post. The clouds had filled in the partially sunny skies and the air became still. It was so humid I sat wishing that the rain would fall quickly, but it didn't.

Daedee flew over to the north side of the nest so I hiked to my north post and photographed her sitting with her right foot slung over a thick branch above the north limb. The north limb is not for sissies.

Daniels Charlie watched his mom, and she seemed to be communicating to him to try climbing on the branch. He would stand up and flap with all his might, but he just
went up and down. He wanted to go to her. She was only a few feet out, and you just see from his attempts that it didn't seem to be that hard of a challenge, until he tried.

Seven, eight, ten tries, and D'ODEE just sat watching him make every effort to reach their mom. I gave that eaglet an A+ for effort and bravery today. He is not even fully
feathered and he is trying to fly like a ten week old eaglet.

I think it is wise of Daedee to begin their training now to teach them how to reach the perches off the nest, but if one should miss on their attempt there would be a small chance they may not rise faster than their plummeting to the ground.

I left and moved on to nest 2 where I found Terry Gail perched on the edge of her nest. I wish I was able to document more interaction with her parents. I realize
each nest and pair of eagles have their own internal instincts on how to be a parent,
which from what I have been able to document varies greatly from new parents to experienced, older and wiser eagles.

Nest six was quiet as was nest 3,4, and 5. I found a weevil on a flower and I found it
a scene I wanted to capture. I wanted that shot because it brought me back to a time
I shot those same flowers with my first camera in the fields when I was just a kid.
I think I still have those old slides, Kodachrome 64, or maybe it was Exctachromes with the month and year stamped in the upper right hand corner in red ink.

Back in those days, I waited eagerly to hand over my hard-earned $7.50 for a processed roll of 36 exposure slides which came in a little cardboard package.

When I got back to Rochester we had a surprise friends date for Em. Her friends were back in town from Missouri and we only told her that we had a wonderful night planned.
The look on her face when she saw her friends was so precious.

The kids had a wonderful time, and I got to catch up on old times with their mom, and
another girlfriend. The night went too fast and we soon found ourselves ready to turn into pumpkins if we didn't get home before the stroke of midnight.

I don't know if God could have given me dearer, truer friends. So when I was gathering my shots for my blog tonight, well, early this morning, I realized that those three butterflies gathered and flying together were a mirror to the night ahead.

I'm looking forward to day 150.

See you on the journey--


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