On a beautiful sunny Alaskan afternoon I made my way to the south side of our building, the view is stellar, looking straight down the Gastineu Channel flanked by mountains on the Juneau and the Douglas Island side. Two picnic tables sit on the little grass knoll awaiting just such a day.
Strewed along the beach is various pieces of drift wood and logs, one such tree trunk nested high up on tide line just below the lower picnic table. Lunch in hand and squinting against the bright sun, I make my way around the corner towards the lower table heart set on the view and the accommodations all to myself for an hour.
There sitting on the driftwood tree trunk was a fully mature bald eagle with his back to the water, his focus on the people and raven activity all around him. I stop in my tracks convinced my approach would certainly spook him. Ever so carefully i walk silently toward the table intent on just sitting down for a moment to gaze at this magnificent bird so close at hand. He doesn't flinch or stir as I find my seat facing him and marvel that he is not 10 feet from me and doesn't seem bothered. We watch each other eye to eye as he cocks he head to and fro and ruffles his tail feathers. I send out my mental thoughts to him with the assurance that I respect his wildness and that I will not attempt to get any closer. He seems to accept that as he didn't leave his perch for another 30 minutes.
Sadly I didn't have my camera with me but the image is forever burned into my memory of his greatness and the time that he allowed me to share with him. Finally he spread his wings, dipped his body toward the water and took off in the gracious style so fitting of an eagle.
Although this is not one of that eagle, I did take both of these photos and here is the spot where I sat.