With all the stresses as of late, last Sunday I opted for a do-nothing day. And by this I mean I simply kept to myself, for myself. I could have stayed on the sofa watching Olympic events all day and for the better part of the morning, I did just that.
We were supposed to get hit with a snow storm. We didn’t. The mountains got the white stuff and we got the rain. Good to know the weather is adhering to our agreement.
It stopped raining around noon and I decided to grab my camera and head down to the Fraser River a few blocks away to take some pictures of a rather rare occurrence.
We’ve been experiencing some very frigid temperatures the last week or so. It has hovered between -11 and -2. I noticed the other day that huge amounts of ice were coming down the river. I have not witnessed this in quite some time.
I decided to pick up a few groceries on my return as well which resulted in just taking my kit lens as it is not near as heavy as the macro/zoom lens I have.
I poked about taking pictures of the river enjoying the cold. I was bundled up and decided to head down the boardwalk along the quay. I climbed up some stairs next to a few boats for a better view. It really was beautiful to see and the sounds!
The ice was hitting the log boons and their metal counterparts set up to protect the docks. It was interesting to just stand and listen to the crunch and grind of the ice.
Seagulls stood on big pieces of ice getting a free ride down the river. Some of them got quite comfortable and sat back enjoying the view.
I descended the stairs and made my way a little farther down the boardwalk taking a few more shots. I was beginning to feel winter’s chill and turned to head back to The Paddlewheeler to grab a bite before picking up my groceries.
It was then that I heard them. The cry of an eagle is unmistakable. I stopped and stared up at the sky with fingers fumbling to remove the cap on my camera. I saw two of them circling and by the time I had my camera at the ready they had landed on top of the hotel in front of me.
The excitement that I felt was just ridiculous. Of course an expletive erupted from my well-mannered lips as I didn’t have the correct lens for the type of shot I was anticipating. Still, they were pretty close and I just might get lucky. I took a few snaps of them sitting up there and decided to wait until they flew away. Perhaps, just perhaps, I could get a really cool shot of them in flight.
This is the Inn At The Quay in New Westminster. The eagles were perched atop the highest peak at the back of the hotel. (This is the original angle that I saw the two)
Ten minutes later the first one took off. He dipped down the other side of the hotel, however, so by the time I had him in view he was already quite a distance away. Mature eagles typically have a wing span of six feet and move amazingly fast as a result . I decided to go over to the other side of the hotel to try to get a better angle when the second bird took flight.
This is the opposite side of the hotel right next to The PaddleWheeler Pub where I tried to wait out the bird.
I dashed beneath the hotel to the other side. I was now just outside The Paddlewheeler Pub. I could get my shot then pop in and chow down and thaw out. The cold was really settling in as I had been outside for well over an hour.
And there I stood poised with camera at the ready having a one-sided conversation with a bird that was likely a good hundred feet away from me.
“Come on and fly.” I muttered.
That mantra later became “Fly, dammit!”
Visions erupted of how to make the eagle take flight and dissipated just as quickly. I couldn’t feel my fingers despite being gloved and my toes beginning to tingle. Icicles were forming on my wig and nose hairs (okay, okay, I am exaggerating here…but I was cold!)
The bird just sat gazing down at the foolish human female. The standoff ended in defeat on my end.
A good half-hour I stood there with camera in hand while the patrons of The Paddlewheeler likely wondered just what the hell I was doing. Upon entering I felt it necessary to explain to my server why I had been out there. Odd that I needed to do that.
The view from inside The Paddlewheeler Pub. Just picture it! A woman standing with camera in hand talking to herself rather animated in her movements. Ah, memories!
I ordered my food and sat gazing out at the river. I pulled out my notebook and jotted down the days events and a little diatribe about the eagle who had sat so smugly atop the hotel. Once my hunger was appeased and I could feel all my appendages then I sat back and just enjoyed the view.
There would be more eagles and I would have the correct lens. I’ve seen eagles down here a few times. The river was displaying odd waves that were caused from a tug that had been pulling a log boom down the river. With the ice flow coming down the effect was really spectacular.
The photographer in me wanted to run out and capture the moment but the writer in me already had.
Back out into winter’s chill I got my groceries and toddled off home. The pictures of the eagles aren’t great. I didn’t expect they would be. Still, I’ll see what I can do and post some of them along with some river shots in a few days time.
**The photo of the eagle is not one of mine nor are the hotel pics. I have not had the opportunity to really go through my shots just yet but I did want to give you a visual for this.