See that big empty space? There, to the left of the towering pine? Once upon a time there was another tall tree there that housed a huge Eagle nest. It was home to an Eagle family.
Then the tree died, but the nest stayed.
Then those Eagles had three rambunctious babies who ripped apart the nest fighting over food. The nest proceeded to fall to the ground in two gigantic clumps. And before you could hardly get a photo, there was no nest at all.
There was still a tree (or at least the skeleton of one). We’d gaze up at it lovingly, as if any moment some significant Eagle activity might commence. And sure enough, from time to time, one or the other, or one of the growing babies, would land there, sitting a while, lording over Bickley’s Pond. I’d grab my camera and come running like I didn’t already have 5,000 photos of those birds, sitting in that very tree.
And then last night, Tim looked up to find the old dead tree gone. Vanished, in the blink of an eye.
How could this happen? How did we miss the entire event, after the countless hours we’ve spent speculating on when, and in which direction, that old tree would fall—toward our house? Into the lake? In the Cope’s pool?
I went searching for the tree this morning on my walk, creeping way deeper into the gigantic weed trees and spider nests than I expected. I had to see that tree, after all this time.
But alas. It has been swallowed up by the woods and the weeds, not to be seen by me until winter comes and strips the spot a bit more bare.
I feel sad deep in my heart. I know this is silly; every ending is a new beginning. Who knows? Maybe the eagles will build a new nest in the even more gigantic pine just next door? Maybe the next babies will be even closer?
Still, I’m sad. It’s very strange to glance up to that tree to see what might be going on there, only to be reminded it is gone. And I do it a thousand times a day.
Tomorrow, I will remember to fill the bird feeders. In no time there will be great flocks of sparrows and finches and chickadees and mockingbirds dancing just beyond the kitchen window. I will leave my camera there on the kitchen counter—ready to snap a shot of the speckled baby cardinal. And didn’t I see a pair of herons just this morning?
Come home, Eagles. I will keep watch.