Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lake Guntersville State Park (Another Check on the Bucketlist)

I had been looking forward to Saturday for several weeks. Another road trip. If you read Tales from Bloggeritaville, you know that I love a road trip. I love to go. And today we had a van full for the day's venture. Meet my family and birding enthusiast...

(cousin Marc, cousin Gina, Uncle David, Aunt Wanda, Momma, cousin Erin, me and my Dad. My personal family circus sat this trip at home in front of the tv watching football. But I digress....)

 We headed to Lake Guntersville State (Alabama) Park, where we were to take in a presentation/lecture on raptors aka birds of prey.

We arrived to the park to find much of Alabama's snowfall still on the ground and enjoyed the breathtaking beauty and snow before we went to the presentation.

An impromptu snowball fight ensued:

Such fun! But alas, it was cold and almost a cue to head inside to take in our lecture. The presentor was fantastic, think Steve Erwin, Croc Hunter. His excitement for the birds was contagious. And he wanted us to get up and close with our feathered friends. We got to pet, photograph and gawk at these amazing creatures. Allow me to share so you can gawk too....
Barred or Screech Owl:

The Great Horned Owl (Who many licks does it take to get the center of a tootsie roll pop? I still dont know.....):

Red Tail Hawk:

We also saw deer, lots of deer. Deer with no fear of humans. They walk right up to the car, looking for handouts.

 I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and interacting with the wildlife. But the real reason that I went to Lake Guntersville State Park was the same one that has brought me back to this park several times.
In the past I have set up "day camp" and watched the skies for Eagles. I couldn't see any. I changed locations, a few times. Still no eagles.
My hope was that today would be different. Seeing an bald eagle in the wild is one of my "bucket list" items.
I was hopeful to see our national symbol in its element.
We parked and set up late in the day in hopes of seeing the eagles come in from a day of hunting on the water.

And we sat...

And sat.
And watched the sky.

And sat and watched yet some more.

And then finally, there in the inlet I saw it. So majestic in it's flight....

Exhilarating. Exciting. Amazing!
Not one eagle, not two but several, as well as some young adults too.
We watched for about an hour, until the light of day disappeared slowly from the sky and the eagles finally began to roost. And my time of roost was not far off as well.
A checkmark on my bucket list.
And a wonderful day spent outdoors, one that will forever live on in my memory.

For more Outdoor Wed. Participants, Click HERE. Happy OW!!!


SquirrelQueen said...

Beautiful photos, that is a gorgeous place. I grew up in GA and this area was a favorite destination for family outings.

Patti said...

The pic of the screech owl brought back memories of camping in the Adirondacks a few years ago. One was on the top of the tent and starting screeching, then I started screeching and as he flew away, he continued to screech....scared the crap out of me!! And if its eagles you want to see, take an Alaskan cruise - we saw SO many!! You got a great photo!

Mari said...

What a great road trip! The eagle pictures are amazing - especially the last one. I'm impressed!


Guntersville looked fabulous. Ied the bird pictures. They were so awesome.

4thelove! said...

loved this post..realize that we have to add this area to our 2011 trips!

Keetha Broyles said...

A pair of eagles nest on our lake where we go every July. Fisherhubby and his buddy Mark NEVER get tired of seeing it soar through the sky - - - and they LOVE to see it catch it's fishy lunch.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

Looks like a great day with family, friends and nature!!


Kat said...

Beautiful photos. Wow, what an experience! So cool.


Really Rainey said...

Those are really amazing photos! But it looks kinda cold!
~Really Rainey~

Linda said...

How wonderful to see the eagles...we live at the base of the local mountains here and it is rare...but has happened that an bald eagle will come flying by...they are magnificient! I'm glad you were able to see them!

HollyC said...

Your trip sounds amazing!! I love to go places like that with my family! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with us! Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

Donnie said...

What a great day you all had. I love looking at nature especially when it will let us get close.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

WOW! That is SO super cool. I was on a ski lift in Utah when everyone else on the lift with me saw a bald eagle except for me. I spent more time looking for that eagle than skiing that day! :-) Naturally, I never found it.