Jul 27 2010

Desert Tortoise Exodus

Melissa Crytzer Fry

Each summer, we’re lucky enough to see a few desert tortoises waddle on by our house. This year’s first sighting included a little guy no bigger than a cereal bowl.

Baby desert tortoise passing through our backyard in southeastern Arizona. Click to enlarge.

Even with their tiny legs, these creatures can move quite quickly and cover some very steep hills and rocky terrain. Truth be told, I think he just knew we were throwing my husband’s 40th birthday bash, and he wanted in on the action.

I made sure we steered him away from the quad path and up the hill. Until next time, little one!

Jul 21 2010

Bald Eagles Return

Melissa Crytzer Fry

As you know from my last post, I spent time in my home state recently. I was delighted to learn that so many bald eagles are making a comeback in northwestern Pennsylvania. I was lucky enough to have seen three gliding along the surface of Pymatuning Lake before they snatched fish up in their talons. Sadly, they were too quick for me to photograph – even the ones nesting near several power lines. I never did get a great shot, unfortunately.

My sister photographed this bald eagle in the same area of PA - right behind her house.

One nest, built on a tall lightpost over a highway at Shenango Lake, showcased four babies walking precariously around in the nest. Uggh! One false move with a car zipping beneath … I don’t even want to think about it.

Probably the most interesting sight was the nest built on top of a lollipop-shaped water tower. I still have no idea how that nest is staying put on a spherical surface. A bald eagle’s nest is typically five feet in diameter!

It’s so rewarding to know that the magnificent bird that symbolizes the greatness of our country is making its comeback. Hopefully our great nation will as well. Visit me on Twitter for photos of the eagles’ nests I did capture.

For Writers: The eagle is a symbol of strength in American culture and is often used in literature. What animals do you use symbolically in your novels/writing?