Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wild Kingdom


“From the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger, all animals are to be found in men and each of them exists in some man, sometimes several at the time. Animals are nothing but the portrayal of our virtues and vices made manifest to our eyes, the visible reflections of our souls. God displays them to us to give us food for thought.”

- Victor Hugo

This past weekend I was sitting here at my qwerty working on the last blog post and a movement out the window caught my eye. Bald Eagle was on the ground out in the grass field right in front of the house, maybe 100 yards away. And he was tearing at something with his beak. I grabbed my camera, put on the telephoto and opened the front door...

... knowing I should have gone out the back door and used the house and the trees for cover. But I didn't.

As soon as I opened it, the front door squeaked and the eagle alerted. As soon as I stepped out the door the eagle took off, its' prey dangling from those huge talons.

But so heavy was whatever it had that Eagle couldn't get but a few feet off the ground. It landed maybe a quarter mile away out in the rye grass (the seed farm around me has rye to my east and fescue on the south and north fields). As I watched through my camera I saw that it had a goose. And the goose wasn't dead...

When I moved to get closer Eagle flew away from his prey.

I stopped and waited. Soon enough Eagle took off, flying back to the meal he was determined to eat.

Then he dove and came in at the goose skimming the top of the grass...

Goose was loose! Goose was still alive. But Eagle wanted Goose.

The end result of this pursuit, of course, was never in doubt...

And to get himself alone with Goose, Eagle flew off, across the road and away from the pesky yahoo with the camera.

I can only offer up a "thank you" to Marlin Perkins, host of the old Wild Kingdom TV show. It was nature programs like his and those to follow - the National Geographic specials, Jacques Cousteau and the many others - that influenced in no small part my love for nature's ways.


“What fates impose, that men must needs abide; It boots not to resist both wind and tide”

- William Shakespeare

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