Saturday, March 7, 2009

Eagles on the Mississippi

One of the beauties of this area is the Mississippi River. The river actually turns here and runs west for a distance before turning south again. It can make you a little disoriented at first. The river changes. It seems to have moods. At times, it is very placid. Other times it is rough and choppy. The river is about a half-mile wide running through the Quad Cities. My house is only about a mile from water's edge.

One of the wonders of the river is in the winter. Between November and the middle of March, hundred of bald eagles migrate south to fish the waters where the river is not frozen over solid. Over the years my beloved bride and I have taken many great photos of the eagles on the river. They are my favorite of God's creatures. I would just like to share some of the shots we have taken. These were taken with a 35mm digital SLR camera. They are not touched up. Even still, they do no justice to these magnificent birds.
In the background you can see the old clock tower building on the Rock Island Arsenal. Its amazing to watch them fish, flying at 30 mph, only inches from the water's surface and grabbing fish from the frigid waters in what seems to be an effortless task.
Yes, we really got that close. About fifty feet away. They seem to ignore people until approached, then they hop to some other tree top.

This is one of the reasons I love being here in the Q.C. I love being on the river. We have eagles in the winter, pelicans in the spring and barges is the summer.

We literally see them by the dozen up and down the river between Clinton to the north and Buffalo to the south. We see them sometimes sitting on large ice flows in the middle of the stream. We see the perched on jams, (fallen trees jutting up above the surface of the water) scoping the waters for their next meal.

Some people have chosen an "object of remembrance;" some animal, plant or place to remind of God's love. Every time they see that object, it reminds them that God loves them. For my wife, its lady bugs. Its amazing where we have seen them. A little over two years ago, my wife was deathly ill. While in intensive care at the University of Iowa Hospital, she she glanced over at the window from her hospital bed. There on the window sill, in the middle of December was a lady bug; there to remind her of God's love. I know of other who have chosen red birds, humming birds, sunrises, rainbows, certain flowers and even water fountains.For me, it is eagles. They show up at the most bitter cold time of the year. They leave right before spring and return in the fall. I am glad they do not stay all year. If they did, I think I would begin to take them for granted.

Even the Scripture uses these great creatures to remind us of God-given strength and courage.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Just a thought. Thank you for reading.


  1. Great blog & photos! New blog on the Hx. of the Ladybug: