Sunday, January 20, 2013

Poem for Sunday and Susquehanna Birds

The Dunolly Eagle
By William Wordsworth

Not to the clouds, not to the cliff, he flew;
But when a storm, on sea or mountain bred,
Came and delivered him, alone he sped
Into the castle-dungeon's darkest mew.
Now, near his master's house in open view
He dwells, and hears indignant tempests howl,
Kennelled and chained. Ye tame domestic fowl,
Beware of him! Thou, saucy cockatoo,
Look to thy plumage and thy life!--The roe,
Fleet as the west wind, is for 'him' no quarry;
Balanced in ether he will never tarry,
Eyeing the sea's blue depths. Poor Bird! even so
Doth man of brother man a creature make
That clings to slavery for its own sad sake.


The weather Saturday was even warmer and more delightful than predicted, so we went to the Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River in Darlington above Baltimore. Dozens of bird species live here, and throughout the winter, there are many resident bald eagles catching the fish that come through dam's "fish elevator." By February they're already working on their broods, so we knew that if we wanted to be sure of seeing eagles, we should get there in January. We saw at least five eagles at one time, plus at least half a dozen herons, more than a dozen vultures, several hawks, seagulls, pigeons, black birds that might have been crows or ravens, and a huge flock of Canada geese camped out for the winter on a nearby farm.

I brought Kat's old camera and 50-500mm lens, which is too heavy for my crappy tripod, so I tried alternately using the monopod and balancing on the fence rail and my photos are not great. Having fought with the autofocus on the Nikon D50 all afternoon, I came home and finally ordered the camera I'd intended to get with my birthday and Chanukah money, though the camera costs more than I got as gifts -- the Nikon D7000, which can use all the lenses I have for the D50, though the newer model Nikons can't. We came home for dinner and watched a bunch of Voyager episodes with Daniel, who is trying to finish replaying Skyrim before he goes back to school on Monday.

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