January 20th, 2009 - The Eagle's Eye

My close personal friend and hairstylist, Albert Einstein, once said: 
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
Well, ain't it the truth.
It might not all happen at once, (except under extenuating circumstances; black hole singularity, old Star Trek episodes, when the class bell goes off and you're still hanging your coat in your locker) but it sure seems to go by quickly at times. So to speak.
I mean, it's the third week in January and I've got pictures from weeks ago I haven't even put up yet! And now my driver's license is due again! How does that happen?!
So rewinding time here, (like anyone even knows what "winding a watch" or god-forbid, "winding a clock" is anymore) I'm taking a step back to January 8th; when Sharon, our friend Betsy who was visiting from California, me, and Happy who came along for the ride, took a drive down to the Eagle Center in lovely but freezin'-ass cold Wabasha, Minnesota.
Wabasha is south down historic (if you follow Bob Dylan) Highway 61, past Red Wing (where the shoes and Sturdiwheat comes from) along "the Rivva," (that would be that Mississippi one.) 
They have this very cool Eagle Center there that is right on the river bank. You can see lots of waterfowl and raptors right from the window (we saw some HUGE Tundra Swans, some bald eagles, geese, ducks, what-have-you) there and on the way down. They said there were over eighty eagles in the river not far from there that morning. (There was still open water in many places, questionably sane ice-fisherpersons in others.)

Inside, at least at the time we were there, they had four eagles. The Golden eagle (above and next) was one of my personal favorites, but they were all hard not to be partial to.

They also had three Bald eagles, I think all were there as a result of accident or injury. They were all pretty healthy though, and we pretty much had the run of the place on a cold weekday so they put on a feeding show just for us, answered all our questions, and put up with me taking endless flash photography.

It was pretty much the first time I had wanted for a power-pack for my flash, as I just about melted down my batteries a couple times. I noticed later that my images were "yellowing out" after a few cycles as my flash was weakening and room lights were cutting through.

It was totally awesome and amazing to be that close to these type of birds though, we were literally a few feet away during the show and in the exhibit room. My 70 - 300mm lens was too much magnification at times. That's never happened before either.
In March they are going to have "Eagle Week" with a bunch of featured programs and one day with twelve birds and local naturalists available for pictures. 
We HAVE to make time for that.
Meanwhile, I'll post some more from there next time. That's the problem with getting these opportunities, you take so many frames it's hard to go through them all and figure out what you like!
Oh, and Einstein also had another quote about time: "The faster you go, the shorter you are."
Maybe that's why time seems so short...

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