"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the eagle has landed

When visiting Vee the other day I was reminded of the pictures I took on my way to church Sunday.  You see, I am a bird lover.  I'm not an expert ornithologist nor do I go out on bird sighting trips.  What I do is notice birds.  I notice and then stop to watch and maybe make a few appreciative sounds.

The trip to church is lovely.  Ten miles out of town you take a turn onto a long gravel drive that takes you over the Crooked River and up to Miss Lorry's.  This beautiful property has been the base of our home church for the past ten years.  It's wonderful. 

Last Sunday... Easter Sunday, as we were driving my husband pointed out a couple of Kingfishers sitting on the power line.  He knew I'd be happy.  We called it my Easter gift.  We turned off the road onto the gravel and headed toward the river where we often see the Blue Heron.  Again my husband pointed (seeming more excited than I would have expected) and declared, "Bald Eagle!"  Whoa.

Not only was there a bald eagle, but it was coming in to land on the pole over the river just beside the road. The van was loaded with family... patient, understanding family who knew that we had to pull over even though it meant that we would probably be late and the first thing on the agenda was breakfast! 

I quickly changed lenses (yes, I have a telephoto) even though I was plenty close enough for great pics.  I envisioned getting nostril shots.  He was right there!  My sweet family allowed a good five minute photo shoot.  I walked up the road for different angles.  I actually willed him to fly away so I could get some wingspan and action.  It was magnificent.  I finally loaded back up with that Eagle still there, watching us drive away.

I changed back to my regular lens and took a couple of shots of the cattle in the field.  I glanced at the screen and what I saw took my breath away!  Not a photo of cows but the words, NO CARD.  NO CARD... NO CARD... No way!!

I could have cried.  I felt ill.  Everyone else had a quick laugh.  After that it was mostly silent as the reality of my heartbreak set in.  

As we got to the house I realized that this gift was meant to be held in my heart.  I'll never forget it even without the photos.  In fact, just like a good tall tale, perhaps this story will develop into something bigger and richer as time goes by... kinda like the stories my dad tells, about the ones that got away.

*These photos were obviously not shot Sunday.  No card.  They are of the same property, from my archives...

**Check out this terrific live cam link.  I watched for quite some time before they both went for a soar.  Mesmerizing (if you're a bird nut like me).  Thanks for the heads up Donna!

Blessings, Debbie  


  1. Oh my! How disappointing!

    I love bald eagles...we have some in the area here - we all yell out to let the others know when we spot them!

    This morning my dogs had to go out before the sun was up....the bird song was delightful awaiting the dawn...


  2. I love birds, too. How exciting to see your eagle!
    Do you have feeders in your yard?

  3. Oh no!! That's exactly the kind of thing that happens to me. At least, as you said, you captured the eagle in your heart.

    And btw, the drive to your church sounds wonderful. Just my cup of tea.

  4. Oh dear, I did that once. Except I was going to photograph the travesty of windfarms and the poor people who are driven from their homes as a result (my aunt was one of them). Tim went out of his way for me so I could take those photos. Sigh.

    We are so very, very blessed here in Minnesota, near the Mississippi. There are many, many, many eagles and we see them quite regularly. In fact, I know where I can see a bald eagle nest just off Highway 10 (a fairly significant north/south route in Minnesota) where if you pay attention you can usually see the white head of an adult in the nest.

    On Monday, we went to the library. There is a median in the library driveway (our library is surrounded by fields - one which still grows crops) planted with small oaks (less than ten feet right now). Sitting in a low branch was a hawk I had never seen - a beautiful grey back with a buff chest with rust bars on it the eye was rather reddish. We flipped a U and came back on the side where it was sitting. It was just about eye level and allowed us to pull up right next to it before it flew away. After much research, I think it was either a sharp-shinned hawk or a Cooper's hawk. Very, very cool.

    Actually, what is cool that during the summer, sand hill cranes will often live in those fields after harvest. I had never seen cranes close up until then. I brought my camera one day and walked into the field - you can't believe how incredibly loud their cry is!!

    Sorry - I am rather rambling!!

  5. I was so with you in this story and searching every single picture for the eagle....even had my husband come and look for it with me, so, I felt pretty much like you did when I read NO CARD! How funny it is - now. Do you know about eagle cam? It watches and shows you an eagle nest in Virginia...all day everyday....pretty awesome.

    1. www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/e-community/eagle-cam

    2. Pace yourself, girlfriend! We watched the entire eggs to eaglets story at school....Enjoy!

  6. ACK! Soooooooooo disappointing! (I once took a bunch of pictures at a family wedding...only to discover that there was no. film. in my camera. Yes, that was a few years ago, when cameras had film.)

    You're right though...it will make a great story that will be even better as time passes. :D

    I suppose you'll have to keep your "Easter gift" stored on the memory card in your mind...

  7. What a beautiful Easter gift Debbie.
    We have several eagles on our property and it's always exciting to see them fly about. I heard people wanted them removed from the endangered list to hunt for the feathers, I hope not.

  8. So sorry that your photo shoot turned out blank but glad that your heart got uplifted by sighting this bald eagle.
    We have a pair of eagles that lives close to the barn in our lane and I guess I kind of take them for granted sometimes. They've been around here for 6 or 7 years, I can't remember. They have young ones every years and when they get big they chase them out of their territory.

    It's awesome seeing them daily carrying big branches to reinforce their nest which gets bigger every year. They carry eels, fish or other furry meals for their young ones once they hatch. My son has some awesome pictures of them but I need to buy me a telephoto lens. I just may get one soon.
    Thanks for sharing. Better luck next time as he might be around again. JB

  9. Oh no! That's always the most heartbreaking part... Or having the perfect shot of the kids just sitting there, and you forgot to turn the camera on... So sorry you didn't get pictures, but in person is so much better anyways! :)

  10. Oh... what a bummer! I am glad that you will hold the image of the eagle in your heart and mind. The photo's are so beautiful!

    I hope that your Easter was Blessed! :)


  11. Oh I am so sad, but you do have them in your heart so that is good.

  12. How many times has this happened to me. My camera refuses even to pretend to take photos. I just have to stand there and enjoy the moment.

    I have a favourite place in the garden, under an oak tree. I can sit there for ages just listening to the birds sing. Thinking about it, it never occurs to me to take my camera with me if I plan to sit out there. I just enjoy the moment.

  13. I like how you said "this gift was meant to be held in my heart". I believe I have quite a few of those. There are times I am so caught up in the moment and "gift", I forget to grab my camera entirely!

    I take your word for it that is was a special moment indeed!

  14. Oh how totally beautiful...one of the joys of blogland is seeing God's creation all over the world without even traveling..and since traveling isn't in the budget this by far is the next best thing.

    Oh Debbie..I just want you to know your comment on my Dr Seuss pole has been so true...it has been used over and over again to share the love of Christ...it started the conversation with the mail lady so when I chased her down the street with my bag she didn't freak out...I said, now I am the lady down there with the Dr Seuss pole...so your comment has become more true that you would have known

  15. Thanks for sharing your heartbreaks as well as your joys!


  16. What a gorgeous drive you have to church each Sunday, Debbie! How nice of the Lord to provide such a sweet nature show for you! ~Lisa

  17. Wow, that is a beautiful area. I know how you feel about missing perfect photos...but you are right...they are in your heart and poured out to us. I can just see them!

  18. Oh, Debbie I am so glad you have that beautiful memory to hold in your heart (though I would love to have seen it). Sometimes holding something in your heart is the best gift of all. I am holding your prayers in my heart. Thank you so much. blessings ~ tanna

  19. Debbie,
    That is a beautiful drive! I am no bird expert either, but I do enjoy the glorious birdsong every morning!

  20. Ohhhh. :( I've felt so much the same way when I realize that I don't have my camera and wish that I did. You are right, though. You will hold those memories of the eagle...and your family right beside you...in your heart. :)

  21. Oh, I am so sorry. How disappointing that must have been for you. Fifteen years ago, when we were still using film, I took dozens of pictures of my hubby's 5oth birthday party. After the party. I realized there was no film in the camera! Ugh! It happens! Since God delights in giving us second chances, perhaps He will give you another encounter with that eagle!:-)

  22. Beautiful!! I have never had..NO CARD come up, YET...:/ I am sure it will happen..lol. I always get...CARD FULL!!!! No use crying over it though...I think you have the right attitude about it. It was a gift whether it was photographed by a camera or not!

    Your BIRD cloud is GREAT though! :) It is amazing you captured that one!

    We have been on vacation,I am trying to play catch-up on my blog hopping...:)

    Blessings for a relaxing weekend.

  23. Oh no!!! I've also taken photos only to find there was no card in or gotten places and realised i'd left my card plugged in the computer at home. So disapointing:( fingers crossed you see another one and are able to get photos one day. Beautiful pictures that your shared

  24. Missing you, dear friend. Praying that all is well...

  25. Um . . . had me on the edge of my seat!! No Card? Really? Ya! Ed and I just got back from an afternoon in the marshes getting in a bit of birding on such a lovely Sunday afternoon. Saw 3 baldies from a distance soaring high. Egrets, red-winged blackbirds, lots of swallows . . . lovely!


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