Friday, November 14, 2008

Bald Eagles in my Backyard

Deer Creek State Park

A long slip of land reaches out into Deer Creek Lake, as it curves and winds from Deer Creek, several miles south of Columbus.

And being less than an hour’s drive from our house, an easy afternoon we spent there, hiking the trails through the state park and exploring the chance of an overnight, perhaps in the spring.

Sweetgum

The cottage area on this gray, mid-week afternoon, Veterans’ Day, was empty and quiet. And we left our things behind, in the car, parked just off the road, to peek into windows, gauge their provisions—make mental notes for another day’s stay.
Situated on this point of land, the cluster of small, wooden buildings looked out to the east, over the 1200-acre lake, a distance below, trees sheltering each from its neighbor.

Beside the last-- 2 large birds perched in the bare branches, feet away.
With white heads on dark bodies.

Deer Creek Lake

Amazed that they should be here, or even could be here, after struggling so to survive--yet they were.
And we watched as they flew off over the wide, open water, neither of us turning our eyes away.
Until they were but a speck in the distance.
The Bald Eagles in our backyard.

Sweetgum

Osage-Orange

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24 comments:

Red said...

Lovely pictures Nina :) That must have been a real treat to see the bald eagles.

I have never heard of Osage-orange before. What an interesting fruit, nut, seedpod, whatever that was!

nina said...

Osage Orange is the fruit of a small tree, also called Hedge Apple, which was planted extensively across the US plains for FDR's project to prevent erosion.
The thorny branches made it the choice of farmers before barbed wire was developed. And the tree is unusually free of insect and fungal damage, making it a choice for fence posts.
The fruit is not considered edible, but is sometimes used as an insect repellent.

I just think they're really cool!

Kallen305 said...

I am so jealous! The bald eagle is on my list of must sees for next spring.

The osage-orange is simply beautiful. I can't get over how perfectly shaped it is. I have never seen one before so it is a real treat. Thanks

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I know it's cliche ... but they are my favorite bird, and not even because I'm overly patriotic. Although, you know I am or try to be a good citizen. They are the most distinctive and impressive of birds. I'm glad we didn't go with Ben Franklin's suggestion to use the Turkey as our national bird. Ironically, the Turkey is the symbol of our county down here in Florida.

Susan Gets Native said...

I hear that osages will keep spiders out of your house. No idea if that is true or not.

Bald eagles so close! I had better start checking out the local haunts.

Deborah Godin said...

That photo of the lake with the sun reflection just stopped me, it's just gorgeous, especially because you don't see the sun in the sky but only know it's there by its reflection. Wonderful!

nina said...

Yes, Susan--they knocked my socks off! Keep your eyes peeled--they're in our backyard! (figuratively speaking)

Deborah--We're covered in a heavy cloud layer, barely seeing the sun peeking from beneath it. Glad you found it!

bobbie said...

So exciting! Eagles areso special - so different from any other bird. Your pictures are marvelous, as always. You really make us feel as if we are there with you.

Leslie: said...

We often see bald eagles here. In fact, about a week after my Dad died in Sept. 07, a bald eagle kept returning to perch on the uppermost branch of a cedar tree right near my house. I felt like it was my Dad letting me know he was flying free again (he was an RCAF pilot and flight instructor in WW2). They are majestic birds.

Sky said...

oh, nina, i remember the first bald eagle i saw - i cried! it was such a thrilling moment to me. i am so glad you have seen them! they fly over our home to fish for snacks in a lake near us. they nest about one mile away on another lake. we see the young ones out with mom and dad - such excitement. juveniles are more golden and don't have the white heads for several years. in winter they flock in probably from alaska to the skagit river, 90 mins north or us, to eat the salmon which are running upstream to spawn. imagine seeing a hundred or more in one outing! it is surreal.

so glad to find your nature journal here....such lovely photographs. i will have to return to read more of your archives. it all looks enticing.

in answer to the qt. you raised: yes, i am sure the term quaking apsen is given because the leaves actually tremble in a very fast rhythm. the visual display of that movement stops you in your tracks. i was using the word "trembling" to emphasize the movement i witnessed - not really calling them trembling aspens. i am always stunned by the exceptionally fast movement of these small leaves which are almost round and which seem to move in almost 360 degrees! the landscapes here are extraordinary. we have only been here 5 years, and i am still in awe of the indescribable beauty which is part of our every day lives.

Wenda said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment, Nina. I'm delighted to have followed the link back here and to have discovered Nature Remains. Love the osage; have never heard of or seem one before.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I always want to touch hedge apples when I see them. I love the close up. The pattern and texture...I have always wanted to touch a Bald Eagle too.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog!! Pic's really well taken. Very good discussion points. Osage orange: As well as erosion, keeping spiders away (have used them for this in my basement sucessfully), have heard before automobile they were a welcome treat for horse pulling buggies along countryside.

Gary Wayne

scienceguy288 said...

Interesting fruit there at the end. I will have to look it up.

You are so fortunate to have such amazingly powerful birds so near to where you live. I have never seen one.

polona said...

bald eagles... what a treat!
your photos are wonderful... for some reason, the osage-orange made me smile

NovaS said...

I so enjoy watching the blue sky with the moon in it....

keep it up...

blessed be...

letspaintnature.com said...

That first picture of Deer Creek is mysterious and haunting, I love it! Looks wonderful.

Larry said...

Hi Nina, we are both obviously blessed to live where we do to see all the wonderful birds and wildlife others may never see. I was on an Audubon outing today where we saw some adult and immature Bald Eagles. They are beautiful birds. I am also thrilled for you that you may have barn owls in your yard too! I think owls are some of the most interesting and amazing birds of prey and I always feel special when I am able to study one in the wild. I look forward to future posts on the Barn Owls.

batman said...

hey nina

lovely photo's - keep it up.

btw - here is south africa we have the fish eagle - do you know if its the same specie or not?

i'll be recommending your blog on mine.

kind regards

nina said...

Batman--I know Bald Eagles are also sometimes referred to as fish eagles because of their fishing ability and diet, but as to whether your bird is the same species as ours here, I do not think so.

Information I have read says Bald Eagles are Haliaeetus leucocephalus, while African Fish Eagles are Haliaeetus vocifer.
(That's from Wikipedia)

dguzman said...

Oh, it's been ages since I saw a hedge apple! I love those, but boy can they hurt (we used to have fights with them).

Beautiful macro, and all the other images too!

Anonymous said...

Osage Orange was originally from a small area in the Ozarks. It was spread widely for use as a "living barbed wire." I used to provide them to a lady who swore by their efficacy as spider repellents.

Called Bois d'arc (pronounced bodock) because the native people from that region used them for bows.

The large fruit is considered a remnant of the Pleistocene--big fruit, eaten by big mammals, imagine the next step, dispersal.

Check this: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_7_110/ai_78334674

The Tile Lady said...

Great narrative, Nina. And the photos are wonderful. Don't you love the osage orange fruit! I had never seen one till we moved out west the first time when our daughter was small....I thought at first they were green tennis balls scattered on the ground! They are wonderful for decorating!
Marie

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