My View: Wallowa Lake eagles part of second home

My View: An appreciation of the place ... and you

In the March 15th Oregonian there was an article about a 2-year-old bald eagle, which the Portland Audubon Society was releasing back to the wild after three weeks of convalescence. The 10-pound eagle had been found hurt and grounded late in February and was turned over to the Audubon Society for care. When found, she was coughing up blood, and it was decided she had suffered some sort of impact injury. Is the risk of her being injured greater in a highly populated area?

The eagles we see are in the wilds of Eastern Oregon.

Recently we were going to our home by the river near Wallowa Lake. On the way I sang "Going Home" from Dvorak's "From the New World Symphony" to myself. Almost there, we spotted a magnificent eagle perched in a very tall dead tree at the South edge of the lake. It was facing the sun, taking in a few rays before the sunset. Below it was the deep water, still as a mirror. The reflection of the snowcapped mountains was etched in the dark blue lake, and everything was quite motionless.

Our daughter and son-in-law from Atlanta were with us. They were mesmerized at the exquisite sight, and particularly at seeing an eagle in the wild. Later in the day, we talked about how truly splendid the eagle was and how there are such exceptional sights on an average day at our Wallowa River place.

Being there changed the song I was singing in my head to "Slip Slidin' Away" by Paul Simon. The yard was covered with crusted snow and the driveway was sheer ice. Walking the dog became a living tribute to Tim Conway, who used to do an old-man-shuffle in some of his skits on the Carol Burnett Show. Quickly, our dog and I had it down. We took tiny steps, barely lifting our six feet from the ice. We were okay after we got to the hard top; then each time it was icy, we would shift into our cartoon-like scuttle.

Each day the sun melted the ice just enough to make it slick, but not to melt it entirely. The river was rushing, as usual, and on each side there was considerable snow. The sight was worth an ample amount of window gazing. It was toasty inside, and a pleasure to share our place with dear ones, who had not seen it before.

Now we are back at in Pendleton, suffering those unsettling feelings parents have after their youngsters leave from a visit. I am not sure how long it takes them to get over the time zone changes they have gone through, but I feel sure it takes as long for us to get used to the quiet resulting from their departure. Yet, it feels good to be here in our home of 29 years, in which we easily fall back into our routines and familiar comforts. The furpigs (cats) survived our being out of town in fine fettle. Although, they did meowl at us about it, telling us all sorts of lies concerning the way their caregiver fed them. When we arrived home, they were on the hot tub lid, soaking up the sun. The spring-like breezes were blowing the orange hairs on their backs.

Bulbs are pushing through the ground, and buds of leaves are on the bushes and some trees. The heather in our front yard is blooming and I imagine the rock daphne isn't far behind. We went from one fine place to another, both at the heart of our lives. We saw wild eagles, felt home in two places and were surrounded by family. Our hearts are full.

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