Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife on and around Union Bay and a higher level of harmony between humanity and nature.

(It is fine for educators and artists to use any of the photos on this blog as long as when publicly displaying the photo or related artwork the following comment is included, "The original photo sourced from http://unionbaywatch.blogspot.com".)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day

This photo of Eva in Flight seems like the most appropriate photo for our July 4th weekend. Given that Eva is larger and more powerful than Albert it seems fitting that she is our local living symbol of our nation.

While the first photo may be the more classic eagle photo this second photo, which was taken just a moment earlier, shows the power of her down stroke. She is not simply preparing to lift her wings she has leaped off the log behind her where she just finished eating. She is literally pushing and pulling her weight, and that of the wigeon she just ate, up into the air.

In this third photo, taken a moment after the Eva in Flight photo, she is still working hard but she is no longer struggling to fly. There is a feeling of balance. It is as if she has gone from climbing to sustained flight. True she is only a foot or two above the water but she no longer has to lift her weight she is maintaining her height while transferring power to her forward motion.

Three simple photos but thinking about them on Independence Day makes one wonder where are we as a country? The effort and lives sacrificed for our independence is beyond photographic comparison. However if we think of Eva as a symbol of our country maybe we could think of Eva breaking free of gravity and lifting off the log as somewhat symbolic of our country’s struggle for independence.

The photo of Eva in Flight could then be thought of as a symbol of our country developing its capabilities. In the last two centuries we have literally learned to fly. We have used that ability in two world wars, we went to the moon and currently we are flying without even leaving the ground, via drones. We have also learned to develop our economic, political and military abilities.

The third photo is the one that challenges us to reach our full potential. Gravity is still trying to drag her down. However with power to spare staying aloft no longer requires all of her effort and focus. In her eyes you can see her attention has shifted to a distant goal. She is looking into the future. 

The last photo makes one wonder, What is our purpose as a country? What is our goal? Where are we headed? As a country will we attain a peaceful, sustainable flight?

Note: The photos in this post were taken last November. Additional related photos can be seen in the post “Ripples of Power.” Also for today only (7.5.14) the Eva in Flight photo is being featured on the Denver Audubon website.


Beyond the Bay:
Last weekend three different kinds of birds took flight above the Salish Sea near Port Townsend. 

Given the difference between a saltwater environment and the freshwater of Union Bay it is not surprising that these birds are not usually found near Union Bay.

I have not spent a lot of time with saltwater birds but my best guess is that they are a:
  • Caspian Tern
  • Heermaan’s Gull
  • Pigeon Guillemot 

The names and photos are not in the same order so your challenge is to match the names with the photos?


Back By the Bay:
Earlier in the month this young Flicker was nearing its own Independence Day. But one more meal in the nest sounds good before it fledges. Luckily, the parent obliges. 

At first the young bird pulls back in fear from the rapid approach of the parent. Can you tell if this is the father or the mother?

But hunger quickly overcomes the fear.


In the end the parent must leave once more.  (Isn’t it amazing how well the colors of the Flickers blend with the wood of the old maple tree.)

By the way has anyone noticed this smudge of orange coloring on the back of the head of other young Flickers?

Note: Thank you to the eagle-eyed reader who pointed out this wonderful nesting site.

Have a great day on Union Bay…where nature lives in the city!

Larry


PS: The order of the "Beyond the Bay" photos is:
  • Heermaan’s Gull
  • Pigeon Guillemot
  • Caspian Tern

Also the red malar stripe on the face of the Flicker indicates it is a male.





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