When I was growing up the idea of seeing a bald eagle seemed sort of large and monumental and not like it would ever happen. I grew up far from the seemingly mythical raptors and did not have the sort of parents who really encouraged learning about nature. My mother's idea of roughing it was having a cabin with only one bathroom. I sometimes wonder if it's because of this past that I don't think I like being outdoors. Yet every time I found myself outdoors, I seem to find a great deal of happiness. And trust me it's not easy for me to get it together out there. I sunburn easy. I have terrible allergies. I get bit by every tiny thing that can find it's way to my skin. Mosquito bites swell up on me really fast and itch like mad. I sweat, I ache and dehydrate quickly. But, I still try to get out there and be apart of it. Because when I do it makes me feel a sense of peace I don't find anywhere else.
Living here in Minnesota I did not realize the first few years how incredibly rich and abundant wildlife is even in the city proper. Now I do and I am pleased to say I've seen many bald eagles as well as osprey, hawks, falcons and regularly visit herons that nest not very far from where my house is located.
But with many creatures, great and small comes many injuries and accidents that need tending. Luckily a few hours from where I am is the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota. A nice, little town on the river.
The center cares for injured birds and watches after the half dozen nesting eagles on the banks of the river. Many of whom I caught more than a short glimpse of when I was out there for my visit. It's a lovely day trip and you can certainly find other places to stop like Lark Toys or Lake Pepin for a picnic. We had some lunch right down by the banks of the river and watched the eagles flying all about as we ate.