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Nat Geo Moments at Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake is a sanctuary for birds. I saw several turkey vultures resting in a pine tree by the bike trail yesterday morning. They stayed put when I stood there and taking videos of them until the noise of the dry pine needles I stepped on scared them. But I saw them again with a bald eagle resting on a pine tree as I rode my bike for another 100 feet or so.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Through the pine needles, I saw the sharp eye of the bald eagle. The bald eagle took off immediately when I raised my camcorder. Sorry to scare it off. On my way back, I saw another turkey vulture sitting on top of a dead trunk right by the trail. A big bird with a white patch on its head and light breast flew above the lake. When it was getting closer, it suddenly dove down. The pines blocked my view, but I heard a heavy sound coming from the water. Immediately the bird took off with some thing in its claws and flew across the lake towards the woods on the western bank. It was an osprey! Another osprey followed it to the woods. That was awesome!

I was extremely excited to see a big hawk with a red tail standing on top of the pine just 10 feet away from me on my way to the beach early this morning. The pine is only 50 feet away from our trailer. I hurried back and told Stephen about it. He grabbed his camera and mounted the big lens and I got my camcorder. We tipped toed towards the pine tree and took photos and videos. To our surprise, the hawk didn’t take off. It was facing the open field with its back towards the sun and us. Bathing in the warm morning sun, its red tail was prominent and pretty.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

It was a red-tailed hawk! We only saw it flying in the sky before, but this time we saw it up close! We were only 10 feet away from it, and it didn’t take off. The hawk turned its head and looked at us sometime but didn’t mind at our presence. Great! We stood there for about 20 minutes or so and got some good photos and videos of the hawk. We thought it might be sick so we left it alone after that. It flew to the ground and perhaps caught some prey later on. That made me relieve.

The solar eclipse kicked off at 9:04 a.m. pacific time. Stephen has been waiting for this exciting celestial event for a year. I saw the sun got a bite from a pair of eclipse glasses. The moon blocked more of the sunlight to the earth as the eclipse progressed. The light was diminishing as the eclipse in progress. The sun looked like a golden crescent moon at about 10 O’clock. It seemed like we were in the golden hour of the late afternoon. The red-tailed hawk reappeared on top of another short pine further down the field. A big family with small kids happed to walk by and they were thrilled to see the big bird. Kids were curious about the hawk and they talked loudly. After a while, the red-tailed hawk flew back to our pine tree. That was amazing!

Watching Solar Eclipse

Watching Solar Eclipse

Our neighbor tried to watch through his welding helmet but that didn’t work. We lent them our extra eclipse glasses. They were all oohs and ahs at what they saw from the eclipse glasses. An older man walked by with his dog. I waved to him and let him know that the solar eclipse was happening and lent him my eclipse glasses. He said he didn’t know what was going on. At 10:19 a.m.- the end of the totality, we saw 95% of the sun was blocked by the moon. People in the path of the totality would have seen the corona. But we were so satisfied with what we saw. The old lady next door brought a bowl of fresh self-grown tomatoes over to show their appreciation. The tomatoes were really sweet and juice.

Tomatoes and the Solar Eclipse

Tomatoes and the Solar Eclipse

In the dusk when the sun finished today’s show, the red-tailed hawk appeared on the top of the short pine at the back of our neighbor’s camp site again. Our neighbors were talking and taking photos of it. It was alike the top of the Christmas tree standing there for a long time. At the top of the other short pine tree by our camp site, our faithful flycatcher was tweeting and catching bugs and resting on the same branch with the same pose each time. What a peaceful and harmonious scene!

The sunset gave the western sky pretty colors. We saw a big bird in the distance dove to the water and caught some thing. It flew towards us! From the binoculars, I saw a good size fish was in its claws. “It caught a fish! It caught a fish!” I uttered excitedly. Our neighbors all applauded as the osprey flew above us. That was way cool to see the osprey in action. The red- tailed hawk flew above us towards its home after dusk. I hope it has a good evening.

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