In Search of Eagles

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 11 Comments

barren-river-lake A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in. ~Robert Orben

I finished my book in August. Did edits on it and also on my upcoming mystery in September. October came along and more little editing and blog guest posts to do. But then it came time to do some fun things. One Saturday we went to the Cave Run Storytelling Festival. Then I took some grandkid time and our church had Homecoming. Did some book events. Took off for my daughter’s house in South Carolina with my sisters for a weekend visit. Came home for a night, packed up and headed to Barren River Lake to spend a few days with my husband’s brothers and their wives.

We’ve been doing a sibling trip with his family for several years now. Until this year we always went to the Smoky Mountains because my sister-in-law lives in Georgia and the mountains were a mid-point destination. Unfortunately her husband wasn’t able to travel this year so we picked a Kentucky vacation spot. A lovely cabin. Lovely scenery. Beautiful lake. Great weather. And best of all, I’d heard eagles were in the neighborhood. Every morning I got up at the crack of dawn while everyone else slept in to go eagle hunting. I was just sure if I walked down to the lake, an eagle would swoop down right in front of me and catch its breakfast. At least, that’s what I was imagining. Didn’t happen. The lake was beautiful in the early morning light. I saw fish jumping up out of the water to entice an eagle to take notice, but no eagle came. I saw ducks. Lots of ducks. I saw buzzards. Lots of buzzards. No eagles on my early morning trips to the lake.

eagleBut fortunately the cabin we rented had this wonderful screened-in back porch that looked out over the lake. The first night we were there, some of the people thought they saw an eagle, but I was inside helping fix our dinner. I was not a happy camper. The next day my brother-in-law and his wife went fishing and I walked down to the lake with them. We thought we saw an eagle way far away, but it was not much more than a dot in the sky with a white tail. But, here comes the good part. The next day I was out on that back porch with the same couple and my brother-in-law jumps up and points out at the sky. And there is an eagle flying above the trees over our cabin and down toward the lake. I didn’t see it for long, but I did finally see an eagle. Mark that off my bucket list, but I still think I’ll try one of those eagle weekends at some of the Western Kentucky lakes in January and February. Online it says there are hundreds of eagles in that area then. Surely I’d see another one. Maybe two.

Have you ever seen an eagle flying overhead? One of my Facebook friends said that when she was in elementary school, that a wildlife expert told her class that their grandchildren might never see an eagle except in captivity. I am so glad that person was wrong and that eagles again fly the skies over our country. Aren’t you?

But the best thing about my vacation last week was being first with my sisters and my daughter and her husband and then with my in-law sisters and brothers. One of my brothers-in-law said that some people didn’t believe him when he said that he hadn’t had any major arguments or disagreements with his brothers since they were kids. That makes vacationing together extra fun. We laugh and tell family stories and best of all, get along.

Do you like to vacation with family?

Comments 11

  1. Rory Lynn Lemond

    We have seen an Eagle fly over our lake here at Sandy Pines .The one day it swooped down and picked up a fish and flew off. I was so happy to see it. It was a magnificent sight to behold. This year I saw it once fly across the lake and never saw it again . The year before I think it hadn’t shown up on our side of the lake but one of our friends saw it and said it had a nest in one of trees. I took a walk but never saw the nest..every one in awhile we see an eagle which if a joy to see even once. They are such majestic birds.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      That had to be extra neat to see the eagle grabbing a fish, Rory. That’s what I was hoping for at the lake, but I was happy to see it fly over the trees too. My daughter-in-law’s father says a pair is nesting down on his farm that borders a river. They took me eagle hunting but we didn’t see it. I have seen a picture of the eagle there that someone else took. I’m going to keep watching for them and I know you will too.

  2. Nancy

    That vacation sounds so nice. Very peaceful, and calming to the nerves. When we were in Alaska, we saw an eagle, and also we saw several in Seattle, well, I was taking the ferry across some river to some island, and eagles were perched on the pylons in the river. The best time was when I was walking through the woods here, which are next to the St. Johns River, and it was very quiet in the woods. All of a sudden I heard a whooshing, smooth, kind of windy noise, and I looked straight up to see a full-grown eagle flying right over me!! Oh it was exciting! Their wingspan can get up to 7 feet!
    Try walking through your local state parks, and see what you can find. Go here:
    http://www.stateparks.com/usa.html
    We also have some beautiful state parks on the intracoastal waterway, and we see all kinds of interesting sea creatures, like the horseshoe crab, fiddler crabs, fish, and little animals in shells. Go to your local state parks, Ann, you’ll be amazed at what you can find there.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I love our state parks, Nancy, and you are so right about the many good things you can spot there on their hiking trails. We used to go the state parks more than we have lately, but that might be something we need to change.

      Your description of the eagle swooping past over your head is wonderful. I’m hoping for that experience someday here on the farm or at one of those state parks. And someday, I just might head to Alaska. My father always wanted to visit Alaska, but he didn’t want to fly. He went to Oregon a number of times, but never made the long drive the rest of the way to Alaska.

  3. Carolyn Johnson

    Your vacations with family sound Glorious! I know because I’ve enjoyed a few myself. My youngest son and I after his father died, use to enjoy going to Word of Life camp in N.Y. with my mother, sister her husband and youngest son and my brother and his wife joined us many times. It was getting to be a wonderful tradition all through the ’80’s until my mom died in ’89. The Christian Retreat (Camp) had speakers for adults and for children. We enjoyed all our delightful meals together in the dining room with all the other families we were meeting. No time spent in preparing them just in enjoying them. The fellowship was superb and the memories of these times were life-time memories through the years. After mom died we gave this up but the wonderful memories and pictures live on. I’m sure yours will too!

  4. Carolyn H. Johnson

    Your vacations with family sound Glorious! I know because I’ve enjoyed a few myself. My youngest son and I after his father died, use to enjoy going to Word of Life camp in N.Y. with my mother, sister her husband and youngest son and my brother and his wife joined us many times. It was getting to be a wonderful tradition all through the ’80’s until my mom died in ’89. The Christian Retreat (Camp) had speakers for adults and for children. We enjoyed all our delightful meals together in the dining room with all the other families we were meeting. No time spent in preparing them just in enjoying them. The fellowship was superb and the memories of these times were life-time memories through the years. After mom died we gave this up but the wonderful memories and pictures live on. I’m sure yours will too!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Sounds like you need to have a reunion trip together just to remember all those good times, Carolyn. But families do grow up and everybody gets busy. Actually we started these trips with my husband’s family after his mother passed away so that we wouldn’t grow apart. It has made a big difference in how close we all are. We also try to go out to eat together a few times in between the holiday meetings. That is sometimes hard since we all have our families and different busy activities, but we keep making it work. So glad you had such great memories of your times together.

  5. Margaret Nelson

    In August we took a train trip to visit friends and family. On the section going down Puget Sound towards Seattle, we got to see eagles!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Margaret, it’s a thrill seeing those big birds after so many years of them being on the endangered list. So happy they have made such a rebound. We actually have some nesting in our county and nearby counties so I still have hope of seeing one fly over my farm someday.

  6. Paula

    Yes, I’ve seen several eagles up close. Once in Wisconsin a state cop friend of ours took us to see one that was feeding on a deer by the side of the road. That was years ago. Then of course we saw the tame one at Grant’s Farm near St. Louis that flew and did tricks.
    But we saw one last year on the way to some land that we bought out in the country. We retired last year and moved to the south part of Missouri. Again we saw an eagle fly off of a kill at the side of the road both on the way and on the way back.
    I love seeing birds of prey. I still have a video of a Cooper’s hawk that was on our back deck in the suburbs of St. Louis. It just sat there on the rail about 6 feet away for at least 20 minutes!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Great bird sightings, Paula. I always like seeing the red tail hawks soaring overhead out here on the farm and once I saw one on the ground that must have been wounded in some way. I always hoped it found a safe place to hide out until it got better. My mom wasn’t as enamored by the hawks since they had a way of diving down to grab a hen now and again. Even if the hens were too big for the hawks to pick up, they generally broke the hen’s back. Nature is all a balance between the predators and the prey.

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