August 9, 2023
Driving the road between Blue Ridge and Dalton has become somewhat of a comfortable habit. By this time, I know most of the houses, honky-tonks and side-road attractions which dot the landscape. The creeks and rivers are familiar and I’ve even gotten where I recognize many of the trucks and cars which have the same commute. Now that I am no longer chained to the GPS, I am free to be on the lookout for the uncommon and unusual on my trip.
Miss Vicki and I are casual birdwatchers. I say that because we don’t keep notes or often break out binoculars to catch a glimpse of some rare specimen. We are happy just to note and welcome our avian visitors when they drop by for some seed from the feeders or a drink from the pond.
My journey also provides an opportunity to enjoy seeing a variety of birds. Last week I was on the way home from worship when I noticed a fair-to-large size buzzard picking daintily from the carcass of a possum who had lost out on an encounter with a car. His tail feathers seemed a bit bleached and gray. Probably a testament to his longevity, I thought. Then he turned his head and looked straight at me. Piercing amber eyes set in a snow-white head. Unlike most buzzards who grudging give way when their meal is interrupted, this fellow stood straight up on his yellow legs, challenging me to come ahead.
No, he wasn’t a buzzard after all. He was a bald eagle, commanding the path. I came to a full stop some 10 yards before him and watched, amazed, as he spread his massive wings and took slow flight, still staring at me.
I think that it is probably good to have encounters such as this. They remind us that we are only a part of God’s creation. And sometimes, we are visitors in the domain of the wild.
I bid you peace!