Holiday Wishes

At Plant Exchange blog, nature walks are a seasonal touchstone in these times. In late fall, we see tree bark instead of leaves, evergreens are more prominent, and areas look different as undergrowth disappears. We shuffle through the spice of fallen leaves and think about what is dear to us.

A few weeks back, we sighted a mature eagle in this cottonwood tree on a walking path by the lake at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area. The tall Siouxland cottonwoods and eagles are markers of this region along the Missouri River. 

It’s unusual is to be able to watch eagles raising young in such a viewable spot in a campground / park. More often, eagles choose trees for nests that are away from human activity. 

By March and April of this past year, many bird watchers, day after day, came to watch an eagle pair nest building. Word spread, and then many others also saw eagles on the nest and then young being fed and later learning to fly and leaving the nest for good. A nearby parking lot commonly had vehicles with people watching the eagles with binoculars. 

Now, months after the last immature eagle flew away and parent eagles no longer were seen around the nest, this mature eagle appeared.

Cottonwood leaves have fallen, revealing the nest again. The large nest of entwined limbs has held in many wind storms this season. We sighted the mature eagle sitting on a branch near the nest for at least 30 minutes as we walked. What do you think was on the eagle’s mind as he sat there?

Thanksgiving wishes to all as we reflect on what is dear to us.

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