On background, I am a raptor nerd and an eagle fanatic. I love the birds of prey. I count raptor sightings on long car rides–my record is 37 from Lutsen to New London in 2010. I drive my family nuts. But I will stop anything–even traffic–to watch an eagle.
Today, that is just what I did.
I was on my way to work this morning and had just come to a stop at the corner by the school, when I looked left and caught sight of her rounding the corner, just emerging between the tree lines. Sometimes I am fooled by those ridiculous turkey vultures, but her flight was more steady and determined than one of those goofballs. The rhythm of her wings held my gaze. She was flying at about 20 feet above the road and following the center line. First she looked the vegetable van over (nothing left), then checked to see if Craig was firing the kiln today (he wasn’t), then looked over the cars at Marv’s to see if she recognized any of them (like we all do), then came up the road and checked the temperature on the new animated billboard at the school (a bit flashy, but the information is appreciated). As she approached me, she slowed up (maybe calculating air temperature at her altitude) and flew over the intersection, then over my car (likely headed for the alfalfa field beyond the trail for a second breakfast of mice or voles). I sat at that intersection with my left blinker clicking for this entire flight path, letting cars roll past on my right without a care. She was magnificent.
My Chinese friends would encourage me to embrace the luck woven into such a sighting. I think I am with them. It is a great day! An eagle took County Road 9 through town today.