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Friday, November 18, 2005

Yellow Eye of the Eagle

Last month I moved my big boat up the river behind my house. I've been rowing back and forth ever since. It's about a mile and a half. Most of the time I get into a zen frame of mind, listen to the oars groan in the oar locks, hum a mantra to myself, glance over my shoulder at my destination or keep my eyes focused on the place I just left. This one particularly day, foggy as hell, pea soup, I rowed out with an eye on the little wavelets, making sure I kept a certain angle on them with the dinghy. When you're rowing, you're always facing the wrong direction. It's easier to take a bearing off something behind you when you start -- unless you can't see behind you, which is why on that day I used the waves to guide me.

Anyway, I went to the big boat, started it up, and motored it around to charge the batteries. Then I came back to the mooring and put everything to bed, got in my little dinghy and headed back to the house. Same deal, one eye on the waves to keep me on course.

To get to and from my boat, I have to row through the narrow part of a bight, a pass made even narrower when the tide is ebbing. I always get pretty close to this one big rock on the way in and this time was no different, except for one thing.

Picture this: Tide ebbing. Me rowing. Thick of fog. As I get close to the rock, these little white feathers blow by my face, so I turn around, and not ten feet away, standing on the rock, is this bald eagle picking the feathers off a seagull he caught. The eagle gives me this really nasty look, one of those yellow-eye-with-the-beady-black-center looks. A bit unnerving. For a second I thought he was going to take a bite out of me, but then he flies off to another rock about 100 feet away.

Made my day.


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