Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Last week I thought I had taken the very best bald eagle photographs possible with the equipment I own.  I was wrong.  Today I witnessed the Majesty and power of the male bald eagle.  I hadn't seen the male near the nest in weeks.  It was always mom.  Today the man of the house returned.  The way I tell them apart is the feet.  Look at his feet.  They are thick and powerful.  They are very different than the female bald eagle.  She, in her perfection, is gorgeous.  He owns the dynamics of power.  What follows is the best  I can do with a camera.  I humbly present to you the glory of our nation.

The purity;  the magnificence; the dignity are so apparent.
The sharp, all seeing eyes and the strength of the talons are indicative of the tenacity of this country to succeed in all endeavors.
He watches over his offspring who will very soon take flight and carry on his linage.
They will soon leave and a sadness will prevail at their departure.
Wherever you go young eagles; our hopes and dreams will soar with you.
I eventually quit taking pictures and stopped the engine and thought about what I was seeing.  I had been observing new life making ready to take it's place in the wilderness society where only the strong can have a hope of surviving.  As I leaned back in the seat I thought about how profound all that is.  These young eagles would soon be tested, like their parents, and their survival would depend on their tenacity, quickness, stealth and all the power their bodies can muster.  It made me reflect, just for a moment, about a people who shared the same qualities and succeeded in hammering out this great nation we live in and enjoy.  How marvelous!  And, this great, great bird symbolizes all that we are and all that we can be and all we are willing to endure to protect it.
Below he is center stage in all his glory and magnificence.  He symbolizes what and who we are.
Look freedom straight in the face:
Strength and power are symbolized below:
I'll leave you in peace great one.  Fare thee well sky bird
I consider it a privilege to be able to meet these great creatures face to face on a personal basis.  It may be years before I have the opportunity to witness these great birds in their natural habitat again.  Oh, you say, they will always be in that same old nest below the dam on the river.  Not true.  The natural world is not a place where daily life goes on and on in a bed of roses.  Survival depends on strength and health.  These eagles could be eliminated with one bad storm.  Worse;  their offspring could also be tossed asunder by the terrible winds and rains of nature.  The wrath of the natural world is unforgiving.  I sat the camera down  and allowed the boat engine to sit quiet.  With hands behind my head;  I leaned back and simply watched these great birds and envisioned many of the historical struggles endured by those who created this nation.  One can not look at these eagles and not associate them with our country and all it stands for.  It's impossible.  Ha;  and Ben Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey the symbol of our nation.  Funny thought.
I fired up the Gheenoe and moved on down river.  I am not in a hurry.  Seems over the past few years I've lost the desire or motive to be in a hurry.  There's too much to see to rush on past trying to get to----where?

The Osprey is another magnificent raptor.  I can't resist photographing them even though I already must have a thousand pictures in my library.
Look at his eyes.  He misses nothing.

He is a power on the river but, he scans the Sky's for the soaring Bald Eagle.
The Osprey swoops down to pick up a fish, and he is successful
Look closely at his feet.  His talons hold a fish.
I'm totally absorbed into this river environment today.  I'm focusing the camera and putting myself into the minds of the creatures I'm attempting to capture in the camera.  I anticipate their movements and their moments of ascension into the air from limbs and cliffs.  I used to wonder why I empathize more with the wild creatures than I do with human kind.  Whoa;  this is getting deep.  I think the reason is that humans can make choices in their lives.  Those choices dictate the degree of success that one can achieve.  Humans are born innocent but they make choices that, in many cases, eliminate innocence altogether.  The wild world is much different.  The creatures of wild nature are born innocent and do not have the capacity to move left or right from that innocence.  They react according to the needs of survival.  So, even when the predators cause death;  it is to sustain life.  It is an anomaly.  I understand and respect that in the world of critters.  In the world of humans, self destruction and supressive action is by choice and the result of bad decisions.  The wild creatures can not make those decisions.  They simply live or die and; it is the strong who dictate who lives and who dies.  Survival depends upon death.  That's deep!  Yet, today new life begins and the legacy of a species is permitted to continue.  Below:
They bob about, paddling here and there exploring every floating twig and leaf.
A little, tiny floating puff of fuzz will grow to carry on the linage of a proud species
It is delightful to observe this new life,  this successful reproduction of a species.  Life will be precarious for them and all will not survive.  Only a sample of this successful reproductive enterprise will survive the tests of natures college.
They are cute and curious and a wonder to watch.  It is hard to accept that some of these sweet babies will succumb to the wrath of the river.
It is not bad thoughts I have but,  knowledge based upon years of outdoor experience.  Nature doesn't care how cute or how innocent her children are.  She creates them and offers many of them up in sacrifice so that others may endure the hardships of wilderness life.  But, she protects just enough to sustain and guarantee the species.

There is one particularly colorful little guy who stands out above the rest.   He's a cutie...

There is really a small squadron of babies who belong to these two geese.  They are very hard to keep track of.
The parents lead the young gosling's into the foliage and  the safety of the overhanging branches
And there they are, all safe and sound
Ah; so sweet!  It's time to wander on back up stream.  This has been a very pleasurable trip today.

A tree swallow nest is tucked under the crags.
Another potential home for yours truly.  I think I could really live in one of these caverns.  No kidding!

Gotta get away;  gotta get away!  Hurry, hurry!

I'm totally relaxed as the boat idles up the beautiful Little Tennessee shoreline.  This river is beautiful.
I'm about home now.  The day has been spectacular!  I have been welcomed into the natural world with open arms today.  The river's secrets were shared with me and I am thankful.
I don't believe I've shown the great tree that harbors the nest of the great eagles.  It is below:
Stand strong, great tree.  Don't let them fall.  Don't let them fall.

Until we meet again I bid you-----Good day