One of the great pleasures after a long day of paddling, portaging and getting all the camp chores done is to string a hammock from a pair of trees close to the water’s edge, grab a book and perhaps a glass of wine, and relax for a while. We were doing just that one day at our beach camp on Lake Alice and thinking it couldn’t get any better, when it absolutely did.
Not only did one bald eagle swoop down to catch a fish right in front of our camp,
another dove in to steal it away. Trying to defend its prey, the eagle headed back to shore with its catch, and, just as it was about to make landfall, two more eagles appeared to claim its prize. An aerial wrestling match ensued before all four eagles finally landed just around the bend from our camp.
“Grab your camera and get in the canoe!” Matt yelled as we nearly fell out of our hammocks from excitement.
By the time we got to our subjects, one of the eagles was perched in a tree, while the three others were devouring the fish just out of sight on land. As we approached, one of the eagles took off only to be dive bombed by the eagle in the tree. A third eagle took flight right over our canoe, and seeing its massive 8-foot wingspan from just a few feet below left us sitting slack-jawed in pure awe.
We were able to track one of the eagles to its landing spot in a tree just across the bay from our camp, and, by the time we paddled over to it, the clouds parted just enough to allow the gorgeous late afternoon light to illuminate the bird.
The only thing that could have made the experience better is if we could have taken these photos from our hammocks. Life in the Boundary Waters can be pretty rough, eh?
P.S. I had to laugh in the middle of our eagle photo shoot when Matt proclaimed, “When you write about this, you better mention how expertly your loving husband maneuvered you into position to take amazing shots of those eagles, even though I couldn’t see squat.” The boy does have some mad paddling skills. Just saying…