Long story short

Bald eagle in nest, re-arranging the furniture.

Here’s the story.

With the temperature hovering at 50 degrees today, double what has been the norm, I decided to go to the Sandy Ridge Reservation of the Lorain Metropark system. It’s a great place for birding and to get some exercise. I took my longest glass with me (techtalk - Nikon D7000 with 300 f2.8 lens and 1.4 extender).

It was bright and sunny but the footing was poor – mud and snow on a gravel path. As I emerged from the woods to the lake area I saw a fellow photog set up on a tripod with easily double the glass I had. So I grabbed my binoculars (8x) to see what he saw. Oh, a Bald eagle nest, about 500 yards away.

I felt bad about vulturing his shot but it was a public venue. I made a few frames but then decided to walk around a bit since the eagle was in its nest and making no indication of leaving. I walked a bit; squirrel, chipmunk, red-winged blackbird but not much out there. I was approached by a ranger in a Club Car (a modified golf cart with knobby tires) who reminded me that the park closed at 4:30 (two hours before sunset). It was 4:10 so I started back.

This is the full-frame image that the above photo is taken from.About half way there I heard someone coming up behind me on the trail, on the run. It was the Ranger, who said he had gotten his Club Car stuck along the trail and was heading back to the HQ to get a truck to  pull it out. He sized me up and asked if I would be willing to help him. Yup, not doing anything else.

He came back with the truck and we headed to the cart. As we cleared the trees and made the turn there was the eagle about 150 yards away, sitting on the top of a dead tree. Awesome photo. I told him that on our way back he had to let me stop and get the photo. He agreed.

We got to the Club Car on the side slope of the walking path. We could move it, but not get it back up to the path. He hooked up a tow line to the cart but it was way to sloppy to get any traction with his two-wheel-drive Chevy S-10 in need of new tires. He had to leave it for the morning shift guy to deal with and we headed back to the HQ.

At the junction where the eagle was I took a look and it was gone, back in the nest. Oh, well.

When I got home I related the story to my wife (BA in English, former copy editor). Apparently the story I told (above, near verbatim) was waaaaaay too long as I perceived from the eye-roll. So I asked her what I should have said.

“You saw an eagle in a nest. A ranger asked you to help get his cart unstuck but you couldn’t. You saw the eagle closer on the way to the cart but it was gone when you came back.”

Isn’t that what I said?