Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eagles here, there, and everywhere!

About half of the world's 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska, and we have been spotting quite a few.
One flew out from the shore towards us as the ferry approached the pier in Gustavus.  Landing on the beach he watched us struggle with the unwieldy luggage as we disembarked, as if to say, "doesn't look like nest materials to me."  Of course we are carrying our nest with us in the form of sleeping bags, Thermarest, pillows, tent, stove and food. It is all hidden in dry bags, strapped to dollies.  (For non-boaters, dry bags are heavy plastic bags that roll from the top and are hopefully waterproof to keep your belongings dry in very wet conditions).
 He took off as I approached a little too close.
 Effective legislation to protect the bald eagle resulted in this endangered species being upgraded to "threatened" in 1995.

Sharing a perch with a raven

They mostly eat salmon, which is probably why this raven looks so nonchalant sitting right next to a very large predator.  We did, however, see the carcass of a raven not too far from this tree, torn to pieces so perhaps he has a false sense of security.

Speaking of birds, I picked up an intriguing novel, "Birdy" on the ferry.

 If you travel by ferry, don't bother to tote a bunch of books because people just leave theirs when finished and there is a bookshelf on every ferry from which to choose a book that has been discarded.

 I have only just begun to read it, but as the publisher describes it..." Birdy is an inventive, hypnotic novel about friendship and family, dreaming and surviving, love and war, madness and beauty, and, above all, "birdness." It tells the story of Al, a bold, hot-tempered boy whose goals in life are to life weights and pick up girls, and his strange friend Birdy, the skinny, tongue-tied perhaps genius who only wants to raise canaries and to fly. While fighting in World War II, they find their dreams become all too real—and their lives are changed forever."

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