I’m home now – have been since last Tuesday evening – but haven’t been able to get back on schedule yet! Catch up at work has been a bit overwhelming and I still haven’t been able to get my trip photos uploaded at home. I downloaded all my Minnesota pictures on my work computer, Bill’s computer, and Dannye Reigh’s computer, but not my home computer! So, anyway, I am going to take a moment when I really should be working to give you a glimpse at one of our outings while I was up with the kids.
On Saturday, Nathanael and Emily both had the day off so we loaded up and went to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota. We could not have ordered a more beautiful day for the drive down, and we were all anxious and excited to get going.
I’m not sure why, but from the time Nathanael was a very small child, he has LOVED the bald eagle. He would draw them, collect photos and figurines of them, read books about them – if it involved a bald eagle, he was interested. He and Emily took some time to drive toward Wabasha a few months ago and he was able to spot a few eagles on that trip. So we were all eager to see what we could see, and Nathanael’s excitment was really contagious, especially to Arulai. We hardly got on the road before she was pointing out the window and saying excitedly, “I see him, I see him!!!!!” Of course, she had no idea yet what she was looking for, but she knew it was supposed to be wonderful and wanted to be ready for whatever it was!!!
On the way to Wabasha, we passed through a little town called Redwing. It was one of the prettiest little towns I’ve ever seen, and it marked the beginning of the eagle trail. Emily saw our first one (unless Arulai really did “see him” and we just couldn’t see what she saw!) After Emily spotted the first, we all began seeing them here and there, then more and more.
I normally resist using the word “awesome” for anything exept to describe God Almighty, but I felt completely awed by the sight of these birds! I can’t even begin to tell you how awe inspiring it was. I told Bo and Em that these birds were acting as if they were COMMON!!! We were all completely enthralled, even Arulai, who had finally realized what we were seeing! Truly an amazing and beautiful sight!
I’m going to post the photos now, but I need to tell you a couple of things first: #1, there were NO true photographers with us on that trip, although Bo and Em do really well with what they have available. #2, what they had available was one of Bill’s cameras, but very little in the way of a lense. There was no telephoto shooting at all, so I cropped some of the images just so you could tell what we were shooting, and some you will simply have to take my word for it! Here we go:
Here we stopped beside the road to watch an area with several eagles fishing. You can’t see them, but there are several on the ice beside the open water, and you can see the one in the air with the snow as his background. We were actually closer to them than this photo indicates, but because the lens was a wide angle, the eagles appear much further away than they were.
At the Center, they allowed photo opportunities with the actual eagles on site. Here, Arulai and Bo are posing with Columbia – a bird with a mind of her own. Note Bo holding A.J.’s hands to prevent her from reaching out to the bird!
This was taken during a short lecture (the lady wasn’t very well prepared, but this was an extra, last-minute lecture she was asked to do, so we gave grace! ) She is holding an immature eagle named Was’aka’. He was adorable, and even ate some rabbit while he was with us.
He is beautiful!! Golden Eagles have the same sized eyes as Bald Eagles, but smaller heads, giving the appearance of really large eyes. Donald is rather new to the center, having been transferred from California after the treatments for his wing injury were unsuccessful, indicating he will never be able to fly again. He was injured in a vehicular accident – who’d have thought?
This is the aforementioned Columbia. She was also injured when hit by a vehicle (eating road kill!) but her bio says her injury may have saved her life. The veterinarians found lead poisoning in her blood when they were treating her, but were able to save her. Like Donald, her injury rendered her unable to fly. She is also quite an active bird, and must be watched rather carefully around the people.
After we got home and settled in, I had an encounter with Cinderella!
There are more events and more photos to show, but it will have to wait until the next post. I really need to get back to work! I am still so grateful for the time I had to be with my Minnesota kids and their family and friends up there. I miss them very much, but this trip really did show me that a flight is very doable, and can make a short trip seem longer because it is not all taken up with the drive. We will be driving up there early this summer to see our NEW grandbaby, who will be arriving sometime in May! I can’t wait!
God bless your day!