Nature’s Way

Mama Osprey

Many of you know that I have been watching the Bald Eagle and Osprey nests that I discovered in Eleven Mile Canyon since early spring. I saw one eaglet grow up under the careful eye of his mother and father, spread his wings and finally take flight to begin his life as America’s National Bird. He still lives at the nest, gaining strength and learning from his parents how to hunt. Today I saw him take his longest flight yet 🙂

Osprey Chick Learning to Fly

The Osprey family has two chicks, both of which are growing in size and strength. Today I witnessed a new development… the mother osprey made a short flight across the river over to a dead treetop not far from my favorite perch. At first I thought she was going on a fishing trip but then I thought she landed… I couldn’t see very well from my precarious position but I kept looking and eventually I spotted her through the branches of a tall pine tree. I slid over on the pine needles to a better spot which later resulted in the need for tweezers 😦 and got a shot of her watching over the youngsters. Soon she was calling out the the chicks, apparently encouraging them to fly and they did their very best! The older one flapped his wings furiously and for the first time he actually gained some air! It was quite an experience to behold 🙂

Osprey in Flight

In the meantime a couple of turkey vultures were circling overhead, eventually drawing the ire of the father osprey who took flight to confront the intruders. They were apparently not eager for a fight with the fierce predator and promptly fled the scene. I tried my best to photograph the aerial incident but the confrontation was far too high in the sky for me to adequately capture.

Bald Eagle Fledgling

As I sat at my vantage point and watched the action I was struck by the dedication of the osprey and the eagles to the task assigned them by their Maker. The spend their days doing what they are supposed to do, asking nothing more and nothing less out of their lives. There is no question in their minds about what they are, what they are supposed to do or whether there might be something else in life they might pursue. They find a mate, hatch their eggs and tend to their chicks. The mother is content to nurture the young and the father stands guard on a perch high above the nest with a view of any danger that might approach and occasionally bringing a fish to sustain his family. It is Nature’s Way.

I only wish that people were so disciplined, so obedient and dedicated to the purpose given to them by their Maker. Unfortunately it is not so with humans constantly disobeying their Creator, ignoring all restraint in quest of their own will. Unlike the raptors I have been watching humans are never satisfied with their God given reality, aspiring instead to create their own kingdoms to the detriment of themselves and everyone around them. Those who seek that kind of power over others have something terribly wrong in their souls, they are evil and may God Himself destroy their tyrannical aspirations.

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Be Like the Birds

Deer at First Light

It was an exceptionally quiet day on my mountain this morning, no wind, no other people, only the sound of the birds happily singing about the beautiful Colorado mountain morning. I was walking along worrying about going back to work with all the new virus related issues and rules when I found myself thinking, the birds know nothing of the Corona Virus or social distancing, nothing of the murders, riots and homelessness that permeates the news and our minds these days. They are just enjoying life, minding their own business bringing joy to everyone they come in contact with.  As I pondered the birds and life in general I was reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:26,

Deer at First Light

Behold the birds of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”.

The familiar verse helped me to resolve the dilemma cluttering my mind and I was able to finish my hike with peace in the knowledge that as always I was not walking alone. It occurred to me that we all might be a better off if we could be a little more like the birds!

Soon I noticed a few of my furry friends staring curiously out from the brush at me. I quickly checked my shutter speed

Sagebrush Sparrow

and steadied the camera for a shot. The deer herd slowly shifted their positions giving me an opportunity to shoot individual portraits and then a group shot 🙂

Eventually the small herd disappeared into the dense pine forest and I was left with some sage sparrows and baby prairie dogs who also were in a mood to cooperate with a little photo session 🙂

Prairie Dogs