Sunday, June 1, 2014


You're going to have to bear with me on this eagle thing because eagles are a passion for me and I want to see these two youngsters off to a good, safe start in life and it looks like they are going to be off and flying very soon.
 These guys have grown as large as their parents now and will soon be airborne.  I hope I can be there to witness their first flight because it is a unique experience to watch them awkwardly leave the perch and fly only a short distance, testing their wings and learning to trust their ability to hold them in the sky..
 It's amazing how fast they learn to be masterful with their wings and achieve precision flight.  It's really evolution and hard wiring over uncountable eons that has programmed this raptor to use it's wings, just like we learn to use our legs and arms.
I have been privileged to witness the first flight of many young eagles and they all display a certain awkwardness that first time off the limb.  They'll fly to some tree trunk and cling to the side of it until ready to test another path through the air only to land on a more suitable perch, like a horizontal tree limb.  It doesn't take long until they follow a parent to learn to hunt and the youths quickly become expert in flight.
Both youngsters are out of the nest more often then not and all over the tree, shuffling along the thick limbs, testing the turf, gaining courage and when the time is right - they'll break the bonds of earth and cast the tethers of youth aside and join the other members of their majestic breed to soar ore the mountains, forests, lakes and streams and amaze the eyes of mortal man..
Above:  she's such a pretty little girl.  Yes she is!

I've had all the burners of the stove of life operating over the past few days and things finally settled down today and I enjoyed the upper French Broad River section of Douglas Lake.  A major bass tournament was raging over the past four days on Douglas and I was going nuts with the activity.  Don't care to discuss it.  I sold a canoe, a kayak and one of my tents this week and somewhere in there I lost a very close friend to cancer.  His name was Bill and he was my new friend whom I knew would have been one of those special, share everything kind of friends.  I feel cheated that he was taken away from me so soon but then - how shallow of me to feel that way because his sweet, dear wife now experiences emotions that I can only imagine.  Bless her sweetness and devotion to Bill.
 Great Blue Heron, Great Egret and another Great Egret

This upper French Broad River section of Douglas Lake is the lake's only saving grace. One rolls off the big lake and onto a more narrow river that is the French Broad River.  Wildlife suddenly appears and the water and shoreline suddenly attractive and even beautiful if the sun holds in the sky just right.
A great egret launches off the shoreline and heads up river.
They are so elegant.  Notice that his head is drawn back to his shoulders in flight.  The great blue heron flies with his neck stretched out.  Interesting distinction between the two species.
They sure are a contrast to any background.
A trip up the French Broad wouldn't be complete without at least one osprey shot.
Mom watched me closely and shrieked continuously.  This tells me she has babies in the nest.
The male launched and circled the boat shrieking loudly and continuously.  I didn't stay but left immediately.

He landed a short distance away and again took off shrieking all the way back to the nest.

Tomorrow is back on the tailrace of Cherokee Lake in the truck and back to the dentist in the morning too.  Seems my jaw is hurting with the newest denture adjustment I just had done.  Looks like another bone spur or spike or sliver or whatever receiving pressure from the lower denture.  Always something.  Thanks for reading here and live each day like there's no tomorrow.  One never knows.