Three times in my life have I seen a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).
The third time was this morning.
At White Rock Lake in Dallas.
Near the spillway and fish hatchery.
Some neighbors who live across Sunset Bay from me and with whom I often meet and chat about nature happened to ask me if I could identify a large bird with a white head and dark body, one they’d seen flying over the lake a few days before.
Additional reports can be found elsewhere, all of them from the last two weeks.
A certain spiritual wonder floods over the body when one sees this species, this national symbol pushed to near extinction and slowly nurtured to more comfortable ground (albeit not safe ground).
Tears flooded my eyes when I realized what I was looking at.
A shiver ran from head to toe, and not one due to the general flu-like plague that has beset me this past week.
A gasp of astonishment escaped my lips more than once as I watched the giant soar effortlessly over the lake, then over the dense woods behind the fish hatchery, then over the spillway before retreating behind the treeline that sheltered its flight.
It’s possible I have photos. I’m still downloading them now, but I’ll admit being so ill and fatigued meant I couldn’t hold the camera still; besides, I was driving at the time, not sauntering about on foot.
Images notwithstanding, however, an adult bald eagle definitely has taken up (temporary?) residence at White Rock Lake.
No greater blessing could the citizens of Dallas request from nature.