"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

06 August 2011

Why It Pays to Talk to the Locals

Today we took the boys swimming at Raccoon Creek State Park.  Admittedly, that was not our first plan of action.  We had intended to rent a people-powered boat, but since there were five of us and the bigger boats were not available, we couldn’t get a boat we’d all fit in unless we got a motor-boat.  No thanks.  But we had a nice chat with the boathouse guy, about this and that, mostly about how boats have to have certain weight ratings and how those ratings have changed to account for so many obese people in the world. 

In the course of our not renting a boat the guy, whose name I don’t even know, said “keep your eyes open, not a day this week has gone by that that bald eagle hasn’t been by.”  He seemed pretty serious, not like he was trying to talk us into a boat, but that he was just saying what he’d seen.

We gave up on the boat and went down to the swimming hole so the kids could splash about some.  And I had no sooner stepped foot in the water than this big old bird of prey comes circling around the swimming area, diving first to the right of the swim area, then circling about and diving on the left.   I probably wouldn’t have paid it much mind, if it weren’t for the guy at the boathouse. 

I looked closer, and I thought I saw a flash of white as it went across the swimming area to dive in the fishing waters on the other side.  Again, it crossed, and my husband confirmed my identification.  For twenty minutes the eagle swooped and hunted fish just yards from where we stood watching.  I have never seen an eagle hunting in its natural habitat!  I may never see it again.  (Gosh, I wish I had my camera!!)  My kids stood and watched.  Several people in the swimming hole stood and watched.  But most folks missed it, or thought it was a hawk.   They hadn’t talked to the boathouse guy, I guess.


  1. Several weeks ago, my brother and I were walking through Oil Creek State Park between Oil City and Titusville when a mature bald eagle flew over the Creek, soared up over a hill, wheeled and flew back over the creek. The water was as clear as I have ever seen it, and we could see trout and bass (some fairly good-sized). Obviously, the eagle was eying the feast. He landed on a boulder about 100 yards upstream, then jumped into the air and caught an updraft over the hill. John looked at me and said, "We never saw that 50 years ago when the Creek was as polluted as any stream in the US. Amazing!" Indeed it was. After moving here from Wyoming, I never thought I'd see a bald eagle again, but I have seen them in Oil Creek State Park, Kinzua and Punxatawny. The Post Gazette reported not very long ago that a pair of bald eagles were nesting 14 miles away from Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River. Did you ever read Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem The Windhover? Who says there is no God?

  2. I read recently that the bald eagle is making a significant comeback in PA... How cool to see them out and about. Thanks for sharing that story, Dan... made my afternoon!