Thursday, January 28, 2010
Snowy Woods, with Eagles
"Whose woods these are I think I know . . . ." With the deepest sense of gratitude, I sometimes can't believe my good fortune that these beautiful woods are mine. And yours. In fact, they belong to anyone who chooses to wander them, because they are part of Moreau Lake State Park and thus they are open to all.
These particular woods are near the Sherman Island boat launch, where I stopped today to see what was happening on the river. The Hudson here is still wide open, and a group of ducks was paddling around over by the far shore. They were way too far away for me to ID, except to make a guess that they might have been male Mergansers, because of the quantity of white on their sides. At first I thought they were chunks of floating ice, but then one of them took to the air!
What a day it was to be wandering the woods, with fresh soft snow falling gently and silently all around, the downy flakes resting on every needle and twig, tingling my cheeks when I raised my face to catch them on my tongue. Here they have caught on a web hanging over the water, creating what looks like a necklace strung with diamonds and stars.
The snow gods must have heard my prayers, for the snow kept falling thicker and faster, until the very air was white. I tried again and again to capture a photo of the air filled with flakes, but all I could get were some streaks. Then I hit the flash button quite by mistake and Lo! the photo was spangled with all these white dots. They don't look exactly like snowflakes, but I thought they looked kind of nice, especially with the beautiful forest behind.
I next drove over to park headquarters, passing Mud Pond on the way, and almost skidded on the snow-covered road when I noticed a dark shape perched on the deer carcass out on the pond. It was too far away (and obscured by falling snow) to clearly discern with my naked eyes, but I aimed my camera at the dark spot and zoomed the lens as far as it would go. Here's what the camera saw. Looks like a Bald Eagle to me. (This underlining appeared without my bidding, and I can't figure out how to get rid of it.)
And here's a cropped shot of the carcass and bird. Pretty blurry, I know, but at least it leaves no doubt as to what we are looking at.
And hey, here comes another eagle!
The new arrival just stands there, and the first bird seems not to take notice.
Eh! Not worth the squabble. Maybe that's what the interloper thought as it flew off again without joining the feast.