Monday, January 25, 2010

Fly Like an Eagle

This weekend we experienced the rare Jan temps of mid 40's.  Perfect day on Sunday to head over to Starved Rock State Park and check out the "herds" of eagles that make their way their every January/February.  My daughter and I went last year and were amazed at the number of eagles flying around and enjoyed the park very much.  This year, she didn't feel like going so I went solo.  She must have had a premonition or something because, unfortunately, this was an off year, or at least an off January for the birds.  Evidently, I learned, they are enjoying moderate temps and large food supplies farther north on the Mississippi, but they will probably show up there in February this year. I did get to see one lone eagle.  No good shots though.  So, instead of letting a warm, drizzly January day go to waste I went on a couple of hikes through several of the state parks in the area. I learned that the area has an amazing number of waterfalls on the sides of the bluffs dotting the area.  It was really quite beautiful.  And since the warm temps have been here for awhile now, many of the usually frozen over waterfalls had large amounts of water spilling over their icey base.  A little bit different experience than just a plain waterfall.  I also learned that at this time of year you're not fighting the normal crowds of people piled into one viewing spot.  For that matter, you're not even limited to viewing from the viewing spots. I was able to sneak off the trail to get up close and personal with the bluffs overlooking the Illinois River.  Here are some shots of the day.  Another thing I learned is that it is difficult to get good shots of frozen waterfalls since the water flowing over them kind of blends in.

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