Trying to escape the noisy madness of this week’s seemingly endless re-roofing project (which has made it very difficult to either read or write), when the workmen arrived this morning and started more pounding above my head, I drove to the coffee stand, picked up a tall-single-mocha (with whip), and then drove to a nearby park along Lake Washington to spend some quiet time looking out over the beautiful landscape. Much to my delight, a family of bald eagles was performing soaring lessons.
There were four birds: two young chicks without the white head feathers, and two adults–mama and papa, for sure. They were teaching the two young ones to hover in the wind. It was fascinating to watch. Each parent partnered one chick, and flew slightly in front of and to the side of the learning bird. They were faced into the wind, hovering, constantly adjusting tail feathers to keep steady. The minute a wing would dip too far, the young bird would turn awkwardly, get caught by the wind and sent, at great speed, soaring downward and in the opposite direction of the hover. The parent would immediately follow the youngster, showing it how to regain altitude and once again face the wind to hover. One chick, exhausted, managed to land in the topmost branches of a tree and just stayed there. Lesson over. The other chick followed its parent off over the neighborhoods, maybe back to their nest, wherever that might be. I finished my coffee and drove home, back to the noise and chaos of roofers working, but I felt very refreshed. It just takes a few minutes of soaring with eagles to readjust one’s perspective.