Monday, April 11, 2011

Regal Round-Up

Talk about magnificent. This was taken in the parking lot of the VFW Hall in Eagle River, Alaska. Each winter while the rivers are frozen over and fish are hard to come by, a kind woman feeds wild eagles on Sunday mornings. She begins passing out pieces of fish at 10:30 a.m. and precisely at 10:25 a.m., the eagles begin arriving. Don't ask me how they know; I guess nature has a way of relaying important information like this when it needs to.

My son-in-law, Ron, and I visited a week ago yesterday. This lone eagle stood watch over the parking lot, and eventually, someone came out from the building and informed us that the eagle lady would not be coming that morning. Apparently, the river had thawed enough to allow the eagles to fend for themselves. My question for him was "How do the eagles know not to come?" He shrugged and grinned. "Beats me." When I asked him how many had arrived the week before, he said, "About a hundred." Can you imagine seeing a hundred of these magnificent creatures gathering from all directions, down the from the snow-covered mountains to a humble gravel parking lot on the edge of a small town-- swooping, snatching, gliding on the currents to accept the gift of food during the cold Alaskan winter?

Evidently, the memo hadn't reached this eagle and he stood on his tree branch for close to an hour while we snapped pictures and waited for the lady, her fish pieces, and the other eagles to arrive. When they didn't, we left and I imagine he did shortly thereafter.

But for a little while, I shared a moment in time with one of God's most regal creations, both of us hopeful; both of us waiting and watching. We have one more winter here in Alaska before we leave for parts unknown, and you can bet your bottom dollar (and all the fish you can eat) that I'll be there every single chance I get for a chance to witness the regal round-up.

Until the next time...

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