Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bye-Bye! Butchies! Bald Eaglets Depart


"Gosh, it looks like a long way down there. Are you guys sure this flying thing will work?"


He had a hard time maneuvering his big wings around.

"Moooooooooooom! Come get me! I want to go home!"
I did my final Butchie Check today. Hasn't this been like following a soap opera? "Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives," I can hear Macdonald Carey doing the intro. to Days Of Our Lives just like he did the first time, in 1965. My maternal grandmother, "Nanny," never missed an episode. When I was barely ten, she unfailingly stopped her days work to watch. It didn't matter what hadn't been done that should have been, laundry, lunches or watering her flowers. She stopped to watch Days Of Our Lives. We didn't watch T.V. as children, but we did when we spent summers with Nanny and Grampy. My father had an ahead of his time notion that T.V. would result in the destruction of the human race. He maintained that one day, beings of the future, unknown to us today would find televisions in our ruins and remark that is what must have killed us off. But, my grandmother didn't care about his Beatnik notions. Every day at lunch time, she pulled out a   metal T.V. tray for each of us, set our lunch upon them and commanded us to be quiet so that she could watch her show without interruption.     
     All winter long, she had saved the comics from the newspapers for me. My favorite was The Wizard Of Id. It still runs in the dwindling daily rags of today. She also saved McCall's paper dolls which I didn't like so much. I pretended that I did since she had cut them out all winter and saved them for me. Sometimes, while The Days Of Our Lives was droning on, I read The Wizard Of Id collection. I could not tell you one thing about the plots or characters of the episodes of Days Of Our Lives. I do remember though, that one day at least thirty years later, I stumbled on the show on T.V. and was gobsmacked (as the British say) that one of the main characters was still there. To my mind she must have been an actress of at least a hundred years of age. Alice something was her name. I can hear MacDonald Carey's introduction in my mind like it was yesterday.
    At the time, The Days Of Our Lives was ahead of the television programming curve in presenting family situations that were outrageous for T.V. It was very daring in its portrayal of real life American families. Most people like soap operas because they air problems that are so far reaching from most people's realities that they can let go of their own horrible lives, if only for an hour. Sometimes, it's easier to fall down the hole of some else's drama than it is to embrace your own. So, I'm all choked up and messed up and sad about the Butchies leaving home today.
     When I got there, one of them was gone from the nest and nowhere to be found. I searched in the trees all around and even on the ground thinking perhaps the worst had happened. Once when a baby robin fell out of the nest, I brought it into the house. I put it in a cardboard box and tried to keep it alive. It lasted long enough to recognize me as the food source (worms delivered with tweezers). Every time I came into the kitchen it started its "FEED ME, FEED ME!" cheeping racket. Then one morning, it was dead. I would never do this, but can you imagine a baby eagle in a box on your kitchen counter demanding to be fed? YIKES!
     I did find one of the Butchies sitting on a tree limb only 30 feet off the ground. He looked so forlorn and scared it was heartbreaking. Of course, who knows what it was feeling, but I had to wax anthropomorphous. After all, their progress over the past month or so has been my soap opera. I had a relationship with them and talked to them every time I visited. The remaining Butchie sat on the limb, hopped around to adjacent limbs and flapped its huge wings a few times. It looked to the ground repeatedly as is to ask "Hey! Is this flying thing you've all been talking about for real? It looks really scary to me!" One of the parents appeared on scene a few times. It swooped low in an arc and disappeared several times, barely a shadow, as if a ghost checking up on the living. There was no great whooshing of wings as I had heard other times, nor calling to its youngster. Madame Butchie was doing her version of peaking from behind the curtain of a kitchen window as junior masters the tricycle alone in the driveway. Butchie would look longingly in her direction and flap. He seemed all confused by the tree branches and too much wing to move around amongst the sticks. He issued a few, weak, thready "pee,oo-pee,oos"  Eventually, I left him. I struggled with the walk away. I said goodbye. "Have a great life, Little Butchie. I'll see you down the river."


Posted by Picasa

28 comments:

  1. Alice Horton was Tom(Dr.)Horton's( aka MacDonald
    Carey's)wife she died in real life in Mar. this yr.He died about 10 yrs ago and they still use his voice for the intro.If granny saw the show today she would turn over in her grave..
    Wonderful shots of young butchie,sorry you misse the other.
    bmc

    ReplyDelete
  2. "And like sand in an hour glass"...time marches on! I never really watched soaps but do remember hearing this on the TV. Just think, the Butchie Boys may find mates close by for you to photograph their saga..."I'll be back!"
    HG

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderful post. What big wings they have - even the babies. So grateful for your keen and artistic eye and your gift for putting the ineffable into words. Onward Butchies. Growing up is hard, no matter how old you are. A leap of faith into the great beyond (without knowing whether it will work at all.) Thanks Robin.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, folks. I'm still a little sad, but I'll get over it. I'll be watching for them. Next year, if everybody makes it, should be pretty crazy with eagles. The Butchies will make five!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing Robin. I'm glad to see that your, "Butchies," have fledged! It's a big, dangerous world for those guys, especially in their first year. Hopefully Mom and Dad taught them well and they'll do okay! Keep up the great work!


    Shawn Weigelt
    Vaughn, WA

    ReplyDelete
  6. Robin - How lucky we have been to watch the early lives of these fabulous birds, thanks to your persistence and great photographic eye! Too bad they could not have been banded, so that someone in your area could report if they return with mates. Like many things in life, a bittersweet day when they leave.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Robin, you have been giving us and our visitors great material! Went down to the TCBeach Sunday night and noted the Butchies' Mom sitting on a tall pine across from you, sort of. We don't have '3-D', but we do have a computer screen!
    Carry on and enjoy that wine. . . liz

    ReplyDelete
  8. p.s.I'll bet you go back once more....

    ReplyDelete
  9. Robin, Thank you for the story. We both loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. wonderful wonderful wonderful
    Love the blog...... you are something else.

    ReplyDelete
  11. sharon f in west kJuly 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    I felt the same twinges when the local red tails moved on-I even missed their incessant fussing for food-even when they could fly!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The best soap opra I've ever witnessed! I'm right with you Robin and Sharon Fin, as I had a nest of Goshawks in my back woods this spring/summer. I have not seen the nest but was told about it by a friend who went into my woods to check on selective cutting. (He was almost attacked and since I'm on crutches I didn't want to take any chances... I know Goshawks will "attack" anyone who comes near their nest; animal or human. They ae fierce!) But, I have heard them for a month and know they babies calls and the parents calls. And this past month since they have "fledged"... it didn'[t mean they actually fledged. Come to find out, they stick around until September while the parents teach them flying maneuvers and how to hunt prey. (I've seen them learning to "mantle" over prey their parents caught for them... very cute!) I call them in once in a while and they come right up to my house and talk to me from 30-60 feet up the pines (I'm pretty deep in the woods)I am not a good photographer but have gotten a few pic of them. Almost fell over backwards looking up into a tree! ha! Wish Robin could come and get some good flying pics of them as I've been told they were Goshawks but then some birders say they are shaped like Goshawks and the same size, but not the same coloring. (I'm only about 1/2 hour away from you!!! hint, hint! ha, ha!)

    Keep up the good work. Loretta R, Litchfield, ME

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Loretta, e mail me rrrobinson@suscom-maine.net and I'll come up. I'd love to see that action! Maybe it will help me get over The Butchie Boys leaving.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Robin, I'm Loretta's sister, someone forgot to pay their tel. bill so co. cut the internet instead of phone.(forgot that the bill comes once a month ha ha) She wanted me to get this off to you so you would know that she'll be back up tomorrow and will get in touch with you then. I've seen her make a call (I thought she'd lost her mind or got into the wine) and out of no where came this call and then we saw one of them flying up in the pines. What a site.Love the new picture of the gorgeous Bald Eagle!! You ARE great with that camera. Thanks for the pictures and stories. j

    ReplyDelete
  15. J.& sister Loretta, Can't wait to hear from you ladies about the Goshawks. Let me know how to get in touch about this.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Robin, Loretta should be back on line today, and if not then we'll do something from my cp. Don't worry she WILL get in touch w/you, she's very proud of her Goshawks. I think we're putting all of our faith in maybe YOU getting a really good picture. They are beautiful! jj

    ReplyDelete
  17. JJ - GAAAAAAAAreat! And if I get something good I'll make a nice print.

    ReplyDelete
  18. All good stories come to and or maybe just an interlude...until next year. FAB.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Bye bye Butchies- wish I could have seen them myself- but thanks to you Robin WE all got to watch them grow up! Your writing and photos are so awesome, and I thank you for sharing them with us. So glad you've been able to combine your love of writing with your passion for photography! Truly you are incredibly gifted!!!! -Ms. Boo

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you, Ms. Boo for your wonderful words. It makes me feel so worthwhile, truly.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful series on the eagle, and astounding that we can see them so often and so intimately. Until the late 90s, I could count on one hand the number of eagles I had seen. Thanks for following my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, these are really stunning photographs.
    Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Robin, I just can't stay away from this blog and the photos and stories about these eagles. My sister has been bugging me to come to this blog and now I wish I'd done as she told me to a year ago!! (I guess big sisters always know best. ha!) And "Butchie" is the perfect name for immature birds (especially the big birds of prey) as they seem to have that "butch" haircut and puffed up "butchie" attitude.. Love them. Thanks Robin for everything on this blog. You make EVERYTHING interesting!! LR

    ReplyDelete
  24. P.S. On these blogspot blogs I have never been able to get my name on the comment. The only way I can make a comment is by checking off "anonymous"... can anyone explain how this comment profile works? Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow! What wonderful comments, LR! THank you. To put your name on the comments, click on the drop down for "comment as:" Click on "name/URL." You can type in whatever you want for a name, yours or someone elses if you prefer! You don't have to have a URL, nor put anything in the space for it. Then, click "post comment." If you have a Google account, you can also choose that option and it will autofill the ID info for you. Hope this helps. And thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks Robin! Now I don't have to be anonymous anymore... I can be ME (or whoever I want to be)!!! LOL

    And, my comments and compliments are absolutely sincere and I know others agree. You're blog didn't get a 5 Star rating for nothin! ha!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love seeing the eagle and smiled at your writing about Days of Our Lives....which I was addicted to at one time.

    ReplyDelete