Sunday, March 04, 2012

Like a rolling stone

Moss is easy.
Eagles are hard.

Moss sits there like a bump on a log, a bright patch of green in a the drab winter woods.

Eagles soar--you never know where--and they blend with the trees where they perch.

You can walk right up to patch of moss and it'll sit there and pose as long as you like.

Just try sneaking up on an eagle. They don't call 'em "eagle eyes" for nothing.

I've seen this pair of eagles perched on trees along the Muskingum not five miles from my house twice now in the past week, but I didn't have the camera with me. Today I was determined to get a good shot.

First I had to find the eagles. We found one just about where we'd seen it this morning, but we were driving on a busy state highway and the eagle was at the top of a tree on the other side of the river. Quick--make a U-turn and park sort of illegally on a side road, then dash across traffic to squeeze into the thin space between the road's edge and the guardrail to get a distant blurry photo.

How to get closer? Stumble down the slope into a field, pass a passel of "No Trespassing" signs, get right down on the muddy bank that was underwater just last week and lift the camera just as the eagle spreads its wings to soar downstream. It's a wonder to watch--but the photos show a mere speck of white above the brown river.

Back in the car. Drive downstream and find the eagle perched on another tree. Pull off on the shoulder, lean on the guardrail, and lift the camera only to see the eagle take off upstream again.

The sight of that eagle swooping above the river will feed my spirit for days to come, but the photos? Meh. Too distant for clarity, too mobile for good composition. If I could only get the eagles to sit still like a bump on a log long enough to let me walk right up and focus, I might get a good shot.

But what would you call an eagle that acted like moss? It certainly wouldn't be an eagle.

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