Monday, April 1, 2013
Jan and I took the dog out for a walk yesterday. The weather was beautiful, much nicer than some Easter's we've experienced. While we were strolling along the sidewalk we noticed a gathering of bald eagles on the beach. It would have made a perfect picture, but of course I didn't have my camera with me. It never seems to fail. Either I forget to bring it or I bring it and right before I spot an award winning shot, the battery fails. Go figure. We finished our walk and I went home to grab the camera. The battery still had a little juice in it so I figured I'd be in luck. I don't know why I ever feel optimistic. There were six eagles gathered around a fish carcass on the beach when I showed up. It would have been a great picture, however, as soon as my fuzzy head appeared over the horizon, they all scattered like someone had passed gas at a debutante ball. I stood there for a few minutes looking out over the remains of the carcass hoping they might come back to finish it off, but to no avail. I may as well have had on a red and white striped beanie with a strobe light flashing on top warning all winged creatures to avoid the area.
I was headed back home when I spotted this lone fellow sitting on the pilings down at the fuel dock. Eagles like to sit on these perches looking out over the water waiting for something to ambush. It shouldn't be too much longer before they have plenty to eat. The herring should be coming in to spawn soon, and the commercial halibut season is open now, so there may be something that washes up on the beach for them. I would assume that the black cod season is open also, but I'm not sure. Once black cod starts getting processed at the cold storage there will be a gathering of eagles that will look pretty impressive. The oily offal that gets ground up floats to the surface and all the scavengers have a feast. Of course the seagulls crowd around it like kids at a Chucky Cheese. It gets just about as noisy too. There's food floating all around these birds and they're squawking and carrying on like someone just took the last crescent roll at a Thanksgiving dinner. With all the fighting going on it would seem like they wouldn't get along well enough to mate, but I guess when it comes down to sex, what's a little fish guts between lovers?
I suppose Mr. Lonely there isn't too worried about anything. He or she looks pretty well fed and with mating season fast approaching he probably needs to rest up. When they mate, eagles fly high up into the air, becoming just little dots to the visible eye. Then they clasp talons and start plummeting to the earth in a circular motion. I'm always a little afraid that they'll get caught up in their passion and forget to look down until it's too late. I've never seen them crash like that, but then I'm not always watching.
In any event, spring is on the way and with it hopefully lots of fish and new life and romance for all God's creatures. Except sea lions of course.