For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed seeing birds; the diverse array of plumage, the various sizes, and the fact that they can fly. One above all others seems to stand out...
Golden but especially Bald.
I remember going to a Busch gardens with my grandmother when I was a wee lad. That was still when they had brick built brewery in Tampa. The public was allowed a tour through the building and the outside wreaked of used hops. But the exit,...the exit was a sanctuary of sorts. For injured and recovering—Eagles. They were rehabilited by the park but not heathy enough to be released into the wild. I thought it was neat to walk through the brewery and see them upon exiting.
History has them as birds of prey worthy enough to immortalize on flags, currency, and symbolism in general.
Most of my life, I remembered hearing that eagles were on the endangered species list. Perhaps that made them much more of an awesome sight to see.
Knowing they are or were a rare sight to see and potentially a species that could be no more. Unbeknownst to me, 2008, they were no longer on the list but are actually thriving and are currently a protected animal.
OBSERVANCE IN THE WILD
In 2010, we took a family vacation, a road trip out west to Yellowstone National Park. One thing you want to do when you are there is watch out for a crowd of people or a group of parked car along the side of the road. Well, it was parked cars that caught our attention. We almost missed the turn and it’s not easy to go a u-turn with an RV. Next was a sight I could just stop and watch and throw away the clock.
A SIGHT TO SEE IN A WILD AMERICA
What we saw were three eagles. Not one, not two, but three. It still leaves me in awe as I recall the event. I felt like Marty Stouffer as we watched the eagles fight each other over food. They were on the other side of a river. There was a flat area along the river and then a hill that had a steep incline. The geography and topography matter because being that they are large birds it was definitely a spectacle.
inspired from life
I drew a number of sketches. Recalling scenes of the squabble. Finding it interesting that one would pick and choose when to enter the fight then retreat to the hillside or even the top and watch the other two. As if waiting for the opportune time. Like a cat patiently waiting to pounce. The above is the result of the sketches combined with old nature magazines my grandmother collected for help with extra details. The medium was Rembrandt soft pastels.
Just when I thought that would be the highlight to my encouters with eagles, much to my surprise, there was more to come back home. I had a German Sheppard at the time and if I was home (and the weather was fair) she loved to spend time outside. One day in 2013, instead of just calling her in I went out into the yard to get her. I looked around the pond and see a bald eagle pirched on a palm branch of a neighbors tree. Hopeful, I ran inside to get my camera but knowing that nature constantly changes. Luck would have it, nature took its time to change.
It is by far one of my favorite pictures I have taken. I was originally outside to bring my dog in so that I could leave for work but there are those things, moments worth being late to work.
Yellowstone for me was 2010, one child was 2 and the other 4. It’s most unlikely they’ll remember anything from that trip. Fast forward six years and it’s a Sunday and we are doing yard work. I come inside to cool off and get a drink and my younger son yells that he sees that he sees an eagle (as he’s looking out of the bonus room.) My initial reaction was to dismiss it as if was no different then seeing Loch Ness. ‘He’s probably seeing A bird but just saying it’s an eagle.’ Just then I remembered taking the above picture three years prior and said that it very well could be possible. I couldn’t find my camera but I did grab my phone. This time it was all over the place. We first saw it fly in the a circle with other birds but the sheer size made it stand out. Then it kept fly from roof tops and trees.
Last year, I was leaving the house with the kids in the car and once again my younger one yells out he sees an eagle. I saw it too. It was pirched on an oak branch not even five feet above a sidewalk I use when I go running.
I was talking with a Dear Friend the other day. I shared my drawing and some of my stories. Reminiscing I thought it would be a great post to write. Then yesterday after we were home for less then five minutes. I get out of the car, hear a bird, look up and say my goodness that’s a big bird then of course my younger son says it’s an eagle.
It’s exciting to think that they are literally in my backyard and nieghborhood. Out of curiosity I looked up if it’s possible to know where eagle nests are and the answer is yes.
Visit this website, eagle locator, for the unlitmate bird watching.
thank you for joining me.
AS always, remeber to
Better yOurself everY Day
My name is John Boyd. I live in Tampa, Florida. I want this blog to be a place where I share my art, what art is to me, what inspires/ motivates me, etc all with an air positivity.