I find myself in Sitka, Alaska, again tonight....I've already been here one time this summer and have one more layover here later next week. Today, my entire crew ventured to the Alaska Raptor Center at my prompting. I don't quite think I was prepared for the fantastic afternoon we were going to have. I mean, this place is all volunteer run and operates on donations. They take in raptors from around the state of Alaska who have been injured, mostly with human interaction (car accidents, electrical lines, poisonings, shootings, etc.). They do emergency surgery on them here at the center and then decide if they are healthy enough to be sent back out into the wild or not. Some we saw today will be released soon....others will never been. Many of the electrical injuries have seared the raptors heads or eyes...it's quite sad. Many of their talons or wings have suffered injuries which renders them incapable of flying properly again. And then they brought in a beautiful female bald eagle named Sitka. She was something as she stared back at us, her pretty white head twitching back and forth, her piercing eyes looking at us much in the same way we were looking at her. I got giant tears in my eyes....staring at such a creature of beauty, injured but now safe. She was so pretty. We saw all sorts of hawks, falcons, kestrels, and owls....the grey owl was one of my favorites. Again, the eyes looking back at us......unsettling. We also caught sight of maybe six other bald eagles high atop the old growth forest trees as we walked around....their screeching drawing our eyes skyward until we could look no further up. And there they sat, WAY up there....just hanging out.
We also passed over a stream containing hundreds of pink and red salmon spawning......at the end of their lives. The thrashing about in the water, trying to get to a safe place to deposit their eggs before they die. It's been many many years since I've seen fish spawning.
And, the bears....yes.....they have had three bear sightings in town this week. One just yesterday at the Raptor Center. So, many trails are closed with signs about bear sightings. And the hotel van driver said he was required to tell us to not be out by ourselves.
All in a day's work.....beats sitting at a desk watching a clock, doesn't it?
Tomorrow morning, we fly from Sitka to Juneau, then to Anchorage, and then to Portland....and after four long days, I'll be greeted by the two giant loves of my life...Hubby and Pooch. And The Trinity will be complete again.