On an unseasonably warm Friday in February, Andrew and I made arrangements to stay at The Eagle's Roost Resort in Cassville, WI. Sure enough, when we got there, we found there was indeed an eagle's nest across the river. Saturday morning found us taking the short drive to Nelson Dewey State Park. At the first light of day, we were perched high on the bluff, just under the crest of the hill, and on the other side, hid from our view, was a bald eagle. Without a noise, he took to flight, no further than a couple dozen feet away. Sometimes, as Sean O'Connell says in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," it's all about being "in the moment." I guess I was too surprised, to be honest, and too amazed to take a picture. Instead, I turned to Andrew and whispered (for some reason), "Did you see that?" He did.
Back at the Eagle's Roost, we ventured out to the dock and watched the nest for a while. There was another pair of bald eagles close by. Too close. Suddenly, an eagle emerged from the woven branches of the nest, flew over, and chased the other eagles away. Naturally, he flew back to the nest, which was still guarded by his mate to protect the eggs, and landed. Now these nests are immense. Four to five feet in diameter and two to four feet deep. It was truly miraculous to see such a large bird perform this maneuver. We witnessed a moment of power and grace, and in that moment we could see how truly important that nest was to these majestic birds. They had bonded with each other in the very process of building it in the first place. In that moment, we were reminded of the importance of our home and our family, too.
These are the experiences that we look forward to, but can never plan. Indeed, we were told that we missed one of the eagles catch its breakfast in the river and swim to shore. Maybe we'll get to see that someday, or maybe something new and unexpected is around the corner. Maybe we'll learn something that we never new before. This is why we keep coming back for more, and this is why we feel it's so important to share some of what we've learned in the process!