Thursday, February 12, 2015

Me, My Dad, and the Eagles

by Judy

Each winter, between December and March, bald eagles from Canada and Northern New York and New England, fly "south" to the Lower Hudson River Valley in southern New York to feed on fish and waterfowl in the unfrozen waters.  This is right in my backyard and each year my Dad and I look forward to stopping by several different areas along the Hudson to see if we can catch a glimpse of these magnificent and beautiful birds.  

My parents live four hours north of me, where I grew up, so it's always  nice when they come to visit us, and even more special when my Dad and I leave the house right after an early breakfast, and spend the whole morning searching trees and ice flows for eagles.  It's always cold - I mean, downright bitter February in New York cold!  If you haven't experienced it - well, you probably don't want to. But we bundle up and out we go!

This year was better than ever.  My Dad had knee replacement surgery this past November and he's doing so well with his recovery.  In past years he's had some trouble walking through the snow to the river's edge to get some closer looks.  This year he was like a new man - and I could tell that that made him really happy.  

Now as you've probably noticed above, we never really get great photos of them.  The eagles are almost always just a littttle too far out on the river to get a good shot, at least with the camera equipment we have.  But that doesn't stop us from clicking away.  To us, these grainy photos are just reminders of wonderful mornings spent together, doing what we love. 

I cherish this time with my Dad.  Both of my parent's are 77 years old, and like I mentioned above, they don't live close enough for me to see them all the time.  These past few years we've spent eagle watching will be some of my favorite memories with my Dad.  

When I first began thinking of a subject to write about for our "love" month, I gathered photos of hearts from my archives, and clicked a few new ones.  I was going to fill the page with pink and red and hearts galore.  Then Dad and I did this.  And I couldn't think of a better subject for my "love" post than this one about my Dad and our shared love of searching for eagles. 

Life is a series of little things that become wonderful, warm memories.  I'd love to end this post with a photo of my Dad and me, but he didn't want me to put his picture on the internet, :) so let me just say - do what you love, with those you love. Isn't that what life's all about?  XOXO


Robert Nicolaescu said...

Wonderful post.
Best regards!

Dotti said...

Oh! This is so heartwarming! Yes, we should always spend time doing what we love and whenever we can sharing it with someone we love. And your dad takes photos, too? That makes it even more special. I would love to have seen the two of you in a photo together, it would have been awesome. A perfect love story.

Kim Stevens said...

Such a beautiful post Judy, even better are the memories that you made. We have been getting eagles, more and more of them ever year down here on the gulf coast. It's not unusual for there to be a dozen photographers with their big daddy lenses set up on the side of the road waiting for mom or dad to do a fly by. I'll never forget the first time I saw one in person (which was here) and just how magnificent they really are. Love the reflection of their wings in the water!! xo

Lisa Clarke said...

This really touched me. I've been so hyper-aware of my patents' mortality lately, asy friends start to lose theirs... Especially fathers. Several friends have lost fathers recently.

So this is wonderful, and perfect for a Love theme!

Lisa Clarke said...

This really touched me. I've been so hyper-aware of my patents' mortality lately, asy friends start to lose theirs... Especially fathers. Several friends have lost fathers recently.

So this is wonderful, and perfect for a Love theme!

terriporter said...

Who needs hearts when you can have eagles? And sharing this experience with your dad, creating memories that will live on forever. How special is that? Parental love and sharing your love of nature and photography is a perfect theme for this month. Love the soft tones of your photo as well as the "action" of the eagles. I lost my father when he was 77 and all I can say is I would love to have one more day with him, so treasure every one you get. It looks like that's exactly what you are doing. Good for you!

Deanna said...

What a sweet heart-filled post, Judy. Time spent with a loved one is irreplaceable and what beautiful memories you two share. Glad to hear his surgery made his life better!!

kelly said...

judy this is the perfect post for a month focused on love. these kinds of special experiences are absolute treasures and far more valuable than any photograph. as my parents get a little older, I am so grateful for the time we have together. thank for givng me a serious case of the warm fuzzies today my friend. xoxo

Carol said...

This had me completely in tears this morning. As Lisa said above - I have also been "hyper aware " lately. Treasure your Dad and keep making memories! My Dad had a huge interest in photography all his life, and he's so interested in everything that I am doing with it. We don't get much chance to go out together though because he lives so far away. I would LOVE to have this tradition! Blaess you and your Dad!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Judy! My father's been gone more than 20 years now and I still treasure all the times we spent together taking pictures and travelling. He died too young -- before I got really serious about photography -- but he remains an inspiration and I share the joy he found in seeing the world through his lens. I don't take people Iove for granted any more. I try to spend as much time with them as I can.By the way, I really like that you wrote about this kind of love. Valentine's Day has become too overly focused on treacly romantic love, IMHO ;-)

Ida said...

What a special memory you share with your dad. Seeing these Eagles would just be so thrilling. I loved this shot.

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