An Unexpected Neighbor

It was a Sunday.  Ken was on his way to a friend's house to help fix another friend's truck.  With the house to ourselves, the kids fired up the PS3 and I made my way to my craft room in the basement.  I was sitting down there, playing Castleville on Facebook, if I remember correctly, when I heard Ken hollering for me to get my telephoto lens.  And hurry!

I imagined the turkeys had made a reappearance.  

I never imagined this beautiful creature was feasting on some carrion across the road from our house.  Eagles are not something we see in our neck of the woods.  They're supposed to be "up north".   

Look close...he's there.  In the center of the old corn field, shrouded in early morning mist.

Trying to get his picture wasn't easy.  I jumped out of the car, Nikon strap around my neck and camera in hand.  Jogging across the two-lane highway we live on, I immediately trespassed onto my neighbor's lawn and headed toward the tree line.  I hoped my rapid approach would go unnoticed.

Of course, it didn't.  The eagle took to the air almost immediately.

Still, I kept moving forward, determined to get as much out of my 300 zoom lens as possible.  Not that releasing the shutter at a halting run/walk was a good idea.  You can see that the pictures aren't exactly crisp.  They're also not as close-up as I'd have liked.  

The eagle circled the field once more, his interest in his abandoned meal obvious as he tried to land.  I should have stopped then, but I didn't.  I kept moving forward, my husband and youngest boy next to me. 

The eagle finally decided enough was enough and disappeared into the branches of the distant trees.  My son insisted it was perched somewhere in the row, but I couldn't make it out, not with my camera lens or the binoculars my husband had thought to grab.  

I tried staying out there in hopes that I would blend with the trees I was hiding beneath.  I'm pretty sure I failed because the eagle didn't return.  

Shivering, I returned to the house and brought the pictures up.  Zooming in - way too far, I'm sure you'll agree - I was able to get a slightly more identifiable shot of our unexpected visitor.