The Aerie

The Aerie

The eagles nest.
Late winter.
Two eggs.
The whole world watches.
In the wee hours
on the morning of Herself’s birthday
I lay in the dark
and looked on my phone
at the snow covered nest.

There was a crack.
And then a hole.
And then a tuft of down.
And then a beak.

By that evening.
There were two.

After months of tuning in.
After Zoe and I noticed how the Mama
would tuck those babies in tight
with her giant eagle wings…
and we started giving each other
eagle hugs.
After learning that I could keep the video playing
by leaning the phone on my easel ledge.
After dozens of terrifying tippiness of the tenders scooting along the edge.
And cringing into a fetal position each time the bully
knocked the bobble head heck out of his sibling.
After tilting our own heads to see what was shooting out of…oh.
And identifying the species of dozens of carcasses.
After watching them break through the shell of ice covered wings.
And sympathetically panting along with their tiny tongues in the hot afternoons.
After learning that this branching thing they do…
flapping untested wings and hopping OUT OF THE NEST
onto the nearby branches…is normal.
And seeing up close and personal some pretty raw footage of feeding.
After all that…
They ate the camera.

Well, not really.
But they jumped on it
and it tilted to a very vertigo unfriendly angle
straight down to the ground…
150 feet down.

Occasionally now,
there is a wing tip.
And once I saw three minutes of a talon.
But it’s pretty much over for the ten million of us
who raised these kids.
They have fledged.

The nest is about 20 miles from us.
So their weather was our weather.
Their snow, we had to shovel.
Their lightening, was our thunder.
And their dark, was our bedtime.

Trespassers were prosecuted.
But there is an outpost,
across the lake,
where watchers can watch.
I’m told they stick around the nest.
You have to use a massive lens
for not much eagle.
So I don’t go.
I’m still upset at getting them so far
only to miss out on the big exodus.

So I painted this.
A little eagle tea hug
from the studio.