An eagle dives in, fish clutched in its talons, bending low to land on the edge.
Clearly, there is at least one hatched eaglet inside this nest.
While an eagle in full flight is breath-taking, this particular nature sighting keeps me pondering all day.
This eagle’s nest sits perched within the steel girding of a hydroelectric power link that crisscrosses my city.
There are trees in nearby flying range; yet, none so tall as that power grid.
In front of my own house grow three sixty-year-old cedar trees. Not so long ago the house builder dropped by, hoping to still find the trees he planted. I am quick to express my gratitude for his gift, especially since my shortened cedars stand in an area of rapid multi-density development. Old standing trees are being quickly pulled down, cut into logs, and hauled away like trash.
As I sit perched at my computer, my thoughts are often drawn away from its unnatural glare. I search the tree branches for the source of unusual trilling of prolific singing birds
As twilight lengthens, baby racoons chirp furiously their warnings when my son walks beneath their high cedar home. In threes, they are preparing to traipse down for their evening food scavenging.
Food they once ate in broad daylight, summer ripe cherries in the backyard tree.
That cherry tree’s sturdy limbs also supported yearly tree-fort reconstruction. My lads entertained grandiose engineering ideas that never came to fruition; but those ideas kept their days occupied within tree branches.
Sun-warmed cherries provided ample fresh snacks; food for boys and raccoons alike.
In deep winter, the tree offered shelter for blue jays and incessant hammering woodpeckers, undisturbed by lads sitting in a hammock slung between two branches or the swinging of a roped tire.
I have but a small city sized lot, in an ever-expanding city landscape. Yet, trees fortuitously planted by that builder years before we arrived continue to grace my family with memoirs of tree stories.
With much of my local landscape changing, I wonder not so much of what is now gone but rather, what more will be missed.
Like the eaglet born within its steel lined nest, children born today will miss what is rapidly being removed from their landscape.
A steel girded home for a newly born eaglet is surely better than no home.
Yet, who would not rather wish for that eaglet trees so tall that natural green leaves would surround its nest.
Who would not rather wish for children the breathtaking experience of standing beneath hundred year old trees flush with blossoms.
Far better to plant trees today, that will soar to great heights, than to regret their loss later. Planting now ensures future generations will be able to discover life experiences that await within their presence.
While an eaglet may be born within steel grids, it quickly masters skills to soar far beyond human vision.
Not so for the small birds, squirrels, and raccoons.
Not so for the small child, teen, and adult.
Within several city blocks, I am privileged to experience trees and their life stories. In my city, all it has taken is political will and public determination.
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(Archived post in honour of this past week’s National Tree Day in my country)