Eagles are mating, salmon is grilling, the moon is super — it’s spring on our rock

P1240315.JPGBald eagles nuzzle after getting frisky in a treetop in view of our Nuthatch cabin. Female eagles are usually about a third larger than males, so that might be a female on the right.

IMG_7955A FEW YEARS AGO WE HAD AN EAGLE’S NEST on Center Island. Maybe again this year?

A little research tells me that eagles tend to nest not far from where they fledged, in a place with high, perchable treetops, near water, with relatively little human activity. We’re ticking off the boxes. Bing, bing and bing.

After seeing few bald eagles here in recent years, they’re back. Recently I saw five of the big birds whirling around a crab boat that was dumping bait in Lopez Sound. Often, we’ve seen a pair soaring and circling high over our island. Their high-pitched, trilling “skree, skree” call has been a common, adrenalin-spiking addition to our island soundtrack. A high Douglas fir treetop within sight of our cabin seems to be a favorite perch.

Yesterday, we spotted two big eagles snuggled together on that tree. This morning, they were back, and there seemed to be some hanky-panky going on, with lots of squawking and flapping about on that precarious perch. Could it be love?

Today we welcome spring, and it seems the eagles know all about what’s supposed to happen in springtime in the wild world.

With sunny-day temperatures approaching 70 degrees F., our island suddenly smells green, lush and deliciously alive, after a long spell of winter.

Barbara and I celebrated last evening with a salmon barbecue on our deck. I also tossed on the grill a few Manila clams and an oyster that a neighbor kindly donated from his low-tide harvest this week on an island beach.

Tonight, we’ll watch for the Super Worm Moon, which makes a rare appearance on the equinox. Why “super”? Why “worm”?

  • It’s called a super moon — the last one of 2019 — when a full moon is at its closest point to Earth, or perigee, along the moon’s slightly elliptical orbit. That makes it appear about 14 percent bigger and about 30 percent brighter than average full moons.
  • March’s full moon is called the Worm Moon because March is when the frozen soil thaws and earthworms reappear, to the delight of robins everywhere.

Welcome spring with us. It would be a great night to make like Edward Lear’s owl and pussycat, and dance by the light of the moon. cropped-1-anchor.jpg

7 thoughts on “Eagles are mating, salmon is grilling, the moon is super — it’s spring on our rock

    1. According to my calculations from figures I gleaned from the space.com website, the moon at its perigee, or nearest point of orbit, is 10.49 percent closer to Earth (225,623 miles away) than at its apogee, or most distant point (252,088 miles). Any other questions for Mr. Science?


  1. Oh, sigh. Barbequed salmon. One of life’s greatest pleasure and one we had to give up to live in Greece. Our farmed salmon from Norway or some point north of us, can’t match that of the Pacific Northwest (yes, fish and Starbucks snobs are we) and to barbeque a major effort as here we use charcoal – as in burnt pieces of wood, not those cute little briquets that we know and love. So savor those meals and know that on the other side of the earth the two of us are baking in the oven some white fish caught in Viet Nam, frozen and sent to our local grocery. (And no, the fish in Greece, fresh caught off the boat is more like buying (and frying) a trout. . . .so not an option. 😉 )


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