The boys came back from a Woods Canyon Lake fishing excursion to tell tall tales of a bald eagle that swooped down not far from them and snatched a big fish from the lake. A bigger fish than the only fish the boys caught. They were quite impressed! I was also quite impressed! Seeing our national symbol in action is not witnessed by most Americans.
The following day we ventured on a five-mile hike around the same lake that lured the bald eagle for din-din. We were told it is a fairly level hike and would take us approximately two hours. Good.
Just like every other trip this summer, we came upon a detour. Come to find out, there was a pair of bald eagles who nested at the north end of the lake and there were two ten-week-old eaglets who were approaching fledgling time. We were standing on the side of the lake, looking through the bright orange plastic fencing at the level path that meandered under the eagle’s nest. Then we followed the bright orange fencing as it went up the certainly-not-level hill and disappeared into the forest…. a government issued detour. I told the bright orange fence guard that this is all because of Nacho Libre and the power from the eagle eggs. I even quoted in my best Mexican accent, “The eagle eggs and a lie, Stephen. A lie!” But he didn’t get it… and wouldn’t let us stay on the level path.
The lake is at 7,500 feet elevation where the air is thin, oxygen is depleted, and I was weary looking at the detour. Of course we took the detour. No stupid bird was going to keep us from hiking the lake! As I huffed and puffed up the hill…. longing for wildflowers to photograph to make it look like I didn’t need to stop every eight feet…. I kept thinking of Benjamin Franklin. Yes, homeschool moms are like that. My thoughts kept wondering and wandering to the fact that if Ben had his way, and the turkey was the national symbol, we wouldn’t be detoured and climbing a hill at 7,500 feet.
Here were Ben’s thoughts on the Eagle, “I wish that the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country, he is a bird of bad moral character, he does not get his living honestly, you may have seen him perched on some dead tree, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk, and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to its nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes it from him…. Besides he is a rank coward; the little kingbird, not bigger than a sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest. . . of America.. . . For a truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on.”
The eagle nest was very impressive… three feet wide, three feet deep and five feet long. The nests weigh about 2,000 pounds. WOW! We saw the fledglings flapping their wings and hopping about. The kind government eagle-nest-watchers had scopes set up for us to view the nest in all its grandeur. We learned that their heads don’t turn white until they are five years old…. and that is when they mate. God figured it all out! A way to stop teenage-bald-eagle-pregnancy before it started. IF THEIR HEAD IS STILL BROWN, THEY AREN’T READY FOR KIDS! Brilliant!
(This blog was typed in the Fletcher’s Tire waiting room at 8:30 am… by the time you read this, we will have new tires and be on our way up north!)