I was visiting family on Apopka Lake in Florida over the holidays. Although immersed in suburbia and holiday festvities, I still sought out areas of wilderness to walk and visit an away-from-home sit-spot.
As I walked along the lake, I stopped to watch a pair of red-shouldered hawks above in a Live Oak tree (a southern oak species). I fox-walked closer, not wanting to disturb them on that chilly morning. Ruffled feathers and sideways glances informed me that they were aware of my presence, but allowed me to approach.
As I stood and watched them, a HUGE bird came crashing through the branches and landed in the same tree with them. To my amazement, it was a bald eagle!
I stood, amazed and amused. This large, regal bird let out a series of squeaky, baby-sounding cries. I chuckled, and he flapped clumsily.
Over the next several days, I continued to visit that spot, and saw the same hawks, eagle, and many osprey. Having this secret spot away from home made me feel so much more at-home while being way.