Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Uncommon Miracle

I am posting here a miracle that happened this past weekend.

Yesterday while Shirley was in town walking down the street with a fancy lady... (you must see her last blog post to really understand this comment.)

I noticed this fancy lady perched in our "tree house" tree.  Grabbing my camera with my standard 200 mm zoom lens I got this shot from the top step outside my office door.

I quickly put on my 400 mm lens and quietly going out the front door with camera on a tripod I made my way around the other side of the house past Shirley's office and down the path to the plateau where I sometimes set up the hammock.
Moving to another location on that plateau I captured this shot of the young eagle fluffing her feathers.

As I moved closer the eagle turned to look at me... wondering what I was up to.  You can see that she is really checking me out... but still she stayed put on the perch.

Carefully I advanced to the lowest deck, using the tree in the centre of that deck to block my sight from the eagle.  Setting the tripod up on the deck beside the tree trunk I was able to get this closest yet shot of this magnificent bird.

As this ferry, which I call the Queen of Black Forest Cake, made it's way toward Schwartz Bay I swung the camera around to get this shot using the full zoom of the 400 mm lens... "Life in a Ferry-land."

Having such good luck with this bird, I now slowly walked up the steps to Deck 5 and off to the ground, taking the curved rock stairs to the walkway in front of the crawl space access. None of my advance was shielded from the eagles view and I was amazed she stayed put.  This was my sixth location for shooting this bird... a record!  And it gave me the best yet unobstructed view.

But I had pushed my luck! ...and soon she was off.   Just like a beautiful lady, she decided that I was getting too close to her.  As she flew off to see what she could find for breakfast, I also went to find some cereal and fruit.

Of some 55 shots I have shared with you the best 8.  Later this year she will lose her youthful feathers and look like what we are accustomed to seeing a Bald Headed Eagle look like.

This was one of my most grateful moments of the week... an uncommon miracle of sorts. One does not often get to spend that kind of time with one of God's greatest birds.

"God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest."  ~J.G. Holland

To see other Common Miracles click here.


  1. I am so envious of your opportunity to shoot this great bird. It seems that when I leave the hill the eagles show up. The last photos you took of eagles happened while I was gone too. What's up with that?

    Great photos of a wonderful experience. I know, we are spoiled!

  2. Very cool pictures. I'm curious how you know this juvenile eagle is a female? Are you *that* good? And on a different topic, why is that particular boat called The Queen of Black Forest Cake? Did you have a really good snack on that ferry once?

  3. No, son, I am not that good. But I have read that the female bald head eagle is about 25 percent larger than the male bird... and this one impressed me by its size.

    Did you know that it takes four to five years for the immature bald head eagles to loose their speckled feathers? ...and both male and females have white head and dark brown body feathers. Wikipedia has good info on this eagle.

    We started renaming BC ferries almost as soon as we moved to the islands. Seth used to like the Skittles that were available on the Queen of Nanaimo, so that ferry became the Queen of Skittles. Since the larger Spirit of Vancouver had deluxe restuarant with lots of choices it became the Queen of Black Forest Cake.

    Our little ferries that go inter-island... the Queen of Cumberland we call the Queen of Poppycock... and the Mayne Queen is the least of all in size and the oldest... we call it the Queen of Fiddlesticks.

  4. That is amazing!!! What a wonderful opportunity.

    The little island I live on (Marco Island, in Southwest Florida) is actually somewhat of a sanctuary for bald eagles- a lot of our streets/landmarks are named after them and there are several nesting sites around town. It never ceases to amaze me when I *see* one, though. They sort of stick to their areas, which are the undeveloped and scrub areas.

    Ahh- the ferries remind me of Port Jeff, where I grew up, but yours are DEFINITELY more grand!