The one that got away

No pictures on this post, just a story about an encounter with a bald eagle and the photo that didn’t get taken.

While on vacation last week, I was biking the trail along Trout Lake, hoping to get some photos of loons. That portion of the trail runs along the lake shore, with a buffer of trees of about 10 feet. The trees make for a decent blind, so the birds don’t get scared away. I had seen loons (fairly close by) along that section of trail in the past and I was hoping for a good shot. I had my camera setup with a telephoto lens, ready to go in my bike’s saddle bag. At one point I did see some loons off in the distance a bit. I took a few photos, but they were a little too far away. Back on the bike I went, continuing to scan the nearby shore. Suddenly, a shadow overhead caused me to look up. There was a bald eagle swooping by, about 20 feet above me.

My thoughts turned to the camera in my saddle bag as the eagle continued away from me, along the shore. The eagle must have been searching the shallows for a fish to eat. I quickly stopped pedaling and got out my camera, in case the eagle would grant me another photo opportunity. Just as I got my hands on the camera, the eagle swooped back toward my direction. She was going to take another look at that section of beach! I excitedly raised the camera to my eye, followed the eagle as it approached, lined it up nicely in the frame, waited for the right moment, and pressed the shutter. Nothing. In my haste to take the picture, I had neglected to turn the camera on. As I lowered the dormant Nikon to flip the switch, the eagle moved out of site along the trees.

So, I didn’t get the shot. But I did get a pretty good tale to tell.