January 31, 2014. I knew now that Mom had some pretty impressive connections wherever she was… and she continued to top each bird new encounter with show stopping results. This was, remember, a woman who was a mover and shaker when she was alive, and she certainly knew how make the world take notice.
Because we had talked so openly in her last days about her communicating with me (and how she playfully expressed the many ways in which she would do so) I was becoming more and more convinced that these were not just coincidental “visits”. She knew how much I loved photography, and was well aware of my ability to notice things on the fly (literally).
Every day was like unraveling the ribbon on a present, and I never knew what surprise would be waiting for me in the gift box.
I received a call from my bother in-law that a friend of his had just driven by the Cove and saw what she thought was an Eagle in an Osprey nest. Eagles were not commonly seen locally, although they had inhabited the area for several years. He had recently purchased a house on the water over there, so I knew I would be able to at least see it from his house at a far distance. I didn’t have a fancy zoom lens at the time, but grabbed my Canon SX50 pocket camera which has a remarkable ability to reach long distances.
My hair was a mess, and my shirt was probably inside-out, but I couldn’t get in my car fast enough.
When I arrived at his house you could see something in the nest at a far distance. I start to shake wondering if I was really going to see what they thought it might be. I belonged to a number of wildlife Photography groups on Facebook, and I certainly had not ever seen a posting of an Eagle in our area. Could it be???
As I zoomed in with my little camera, I did that newly familiar gasp. “Oh my God there are TWO!!!”
I remember having to hold my arm still to stop the shaking so I could focus. Tears of joy and a long deep exhale followed with a tremendous amount of gratitude. As a friend pointed out after seeing this photo “They are in the shape of a heart”. Of course they were. You think she’d arrange that any other way? That was certainly enough for me to feel that I was meant to see this, and photograph this amazing moment.
A couple of days later I received a call from the editor of our local newspaper. Word had travelled, and he’d heard that I had photographs. The following week an article was published with these photos. http://www.eastbayri.com/news/bald-eagles-in-barrington-national-bird-seen-on-cove-river/
A lens upgrade was in order, and little did I know that this would mark the beginning of further Eagle sightings and publications using my photographs.
This year I had the honor of having one of my Eagle shots grace the covers of two well known local publications. The Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Annual Report, and The Providence Journal. Perhaps those two eagles back in February 2014 were more symbolic than I had thought. I could only have dreamed about having one of my photographs published on the cover of anything!
You know makes the Providence Journal publication even crazier? Throughout Mom’s career she was consistently in the paper, it was all part of the deal. What I remember most, however, is how she would always beam with pride if the story, or photo of her, was “above the fold”.
And so, there she is… She’s pretty darn good, isn’t she?
Providence Journal Article: http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150329/NEWS/150329197