Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hello My Friend

I have been worried about the Goldens. I have not seen much of them this year. Willow has assured me they are still around as she sees them in the skies during recess.
School is on vacation this week. Yesterday we took a drive to a roadside entrance to a mountain trail. There were about 8 vehicles there before us. The trail was well maintained. We didn't hike very far in when Willow called, "Eagles, Eagles!"
I looked up just in time to see one soar past, low among the cliffs, and a second, and a third. I let out my whistle and we stood and waited. I didn't think they would respond. Then there they were, tight circling, just above the trees, looking down at us. I have to admit my eyes welled up; I was so happy.
We made it nearly to the summit when I was outvoted to stop for a lunchbreak on a lovely lookout outcropping. I had my first experiences with vertigo watching the Firebird standing so close to the edge. Suddenly I felt empathy for my mother when she used to freak out when I was that age and did the same thing, wondering what was she freaking out about?
Willow-sharp-eyes saw the eagles again= they cruised by about 50 feet off the cliff and I gave the whistle again. They came back about 20 feet away, streaming by. wings not even flapping. We were so thrilled!
We continued upwards through a plateau of oak and beech, perfect grey squirrel habitat. The eagles were still with us, now overhead.




No signs of squirrels despite the amount of den trees and habitat. A light went off . Were the eagles tagging us in hopes that we would startle up some prey? We had passed several places on the trail that had grey squirrel hair in bird excrement. Why, with so many acres of woods, were the eagles dropping their load on the trail?
The descent went much faster than the ascent, and before long we were on the flat trail headed back to the parking lot. A series of sharp twittering calls haunted us.
"They're saying goodbye" said one member of the hiking party.
"They're trying to teach me a new whistle," I said.
the whistle I generally use I have learned is an alert call. So maybe the reason the eagles come back is because they think I have an eagle under my shirt or something.
Then I recalled young Willow jumping up and down repeating her version of the whistle, which I am sure she does on the playground as well, and not for one second do I think the eagles think she has an eagle somewhere about her person because she simply is too small to hide one effectively. I also don't think eagles are that stupid! They surely realize what is whistling.
We reached the parking lot, the lone vehicle remaining, and wet our whistles. I tried out the new whistle, trying to remember it.
"Is that it?"
Suddenly the eagles were back, now circling us over the parking lot. I could hear another call from the base of the mountain, one I couldn't identify. Did the eagles have a hungry nestling?
If so, they were on their own hunting squirrel- as we left them with nothing but an empty parking spot and a darkening wood.
The Eagle
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls
,And like a thunderbolt he falls.-
-by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

1 comment:

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

That is so neat!!! I cant whistle to save my life let alone like an eagle!