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Mingling with Eagles

Hey-oooooo!!!!  Canada is full up to the brim with bald eagles!!!  Brackendale is the hang out spot for bald eagles on their winter vaycay. 






Even though it is the national bird of my native country, I have never once in my life seen a bald eagle in the good ol’ US of A.  Except for the one time a bald eagle flew around the stadium during the national anthem at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field in Chicago – so I don’t really count that time.Patriotic US Eagle












People in the stands were crying, y’all.

Squamish + Brackendale are hosts to wintering bald eagles late November to March, with it’s peaks in December + January.  I’ve been dying to go – I’m starting to become a bit of a bird watcher….where’s my Audubon subscription?!

Jeff was screwing around that morning + we left a half hour later than I would have liked.  I WAS PISSED!!!!  There was a guided tour that I wanted to catch + I was in a TIZZY!!!!!!  We picked up our naturalist nephew, Matt + drove about an hour north on the 99.  The tour was to depart from the Brackendale Art Gallery.Brackendale Art Gallery


















Of course we missed the tour, which ended up being for the best as you’ll see later.  We had adventures galore.  The art gallery is funky + a little cheesy/creepy hippie dippie – which I lurve.  Brackendale Art Gallery

On the main floor they had a power point type of presentation showing the current count of bald eagle sightings + where those locations are.  Note – they like to hang out at the dump!!!  The ladies weren’t that excited when I loudly pointed that out to Matt.  They are scavengers, after all – sorry to squash romantic visions of the soaring, majestic bald eagle!Brackendale Art Gallery


















There is great Pacific Northwest art + amazing Bells of Brackendale made from recycled + found materials.  Me want one!Brackendale Art Gallery

And helloooooooo A UNICORN SCULPTURE!!!!!  Lookit Matt.  Whatta good sport.  He’s like, “OMG, I can’t believe they’re making me pose next to a unicorn.  Mortified.”.  Amazing Nephew Award!Brackendale Art Gallery

This is my rock n’ roll album cover picture:Squamish Eagles'13 - 06


















We left the gallery + headed in the general direction of the town dump.  We had no idea what we were doing.  I spotted some eagles in the trees so we pulled off the road + headed down toward the river.Squamish Eagles'13 - 07


















SQUEEEEEAL!!!!!  A juvenile + an adult!!!!!Squamish Eagles'13 - 08


















This one was giving us sideways stinkeye.Squamish Eagles'13 - 09

A most fortuitous turn of events – on the other side of the bridge lay Fergie's Cafethe gem, Fergie’s Cafe.

Yo, check out that menu!!!!Fergie's Cafe

Drooool!!!!  Such a great find!  I had a salmon benedict, Jeff had corned beef hash + Matt, the BLT!!!  I had to do some Dia de los Muertos additions on this photo because I just couldn’t deal…..I looked like a major nerd with the thumbs up, so I had to do something with this travesty of a picture.Fergie's Cafe

After breakfast, there were eagles flying in the air behind the restaurant, so we ran down towards the other side of the river.Squamish Eagles'13 - 13


















Man, those guys can HUSTLE!!!  Boy, am I out of shape!  Wait up, homies!!!Squamish Eagles'13 - 14

GASP!!!Squamish Eagles'13 - 15

AAAAAAAAH!!!!!Squamish Eagles'13 - 16

Jeff looked like an old timey photographer…Squamish Eagles'13 - 17


















Matt had his own trusty apparatus for picture taking…Squamish Eagles'13 - 18

Next, off of a tip from the super cute guys working at Fergie’s Cafe, we ventured towards the salmon hatchery + followed the trail behind it.Squamish Eagles'13 - 19

We called it, “Where Salmon Go to DIE” because there were salmon carcasses + bones in the river beside it.  I was like, “Yo this place reeks.  I’m hightailing it out of here.”.  Matt on the other hand was very curious – aaaaah boys do love the macabre.Squamish Eagles'13 - 20

Can you see the white bones glowing in the river???Squamish Eagles'13 - 21

We followed the trail further…Squamish Eagles'13 - 22


















It was green, mossy, Pacific Northwest heaven.  I’d like to come back on a drier day for a hike.Squamish Eagles'13 - 23Squamish Eagles'13 - 27



















Matt found a little cave entrance.  It’s amazing the things that Matt noticed + pointed out to us along the trail.  The eyes of the child are so much more keen to their surroundings than the adults’, whose eyes just look straight ahead.  At what point did I lose that ability?..Squamish Eagles'13 - 24


















I announced loudly, “WE HAVE ENTERED MIDDLE EARTH!!!!”.  Lord of the Rings reference.  Matt got it.  Jeff didn’t.  For shame.Squamish Eagles'13 - 25


















Petroglyphs from ancient peoples.  NOT!!!!  C’MON, PEOPLE – DON’T DO IT!!!!!Squamish Eagles'13 - 26

We trekked for what seemed like forever along train tracks + scrambling over + under branches – it was wet, sludgy slow going.  Finally, we reached Squamish River.  There was a couple of guys fly fishing in the river.  I’d love to learn one day.Squamish Eagles'13 - 28

A lone eagle waiting for a catch.  I was really excited about all the eagles we had seen that day.  But apparently, numbers were down + in previous years Jeff has seen MASSIVE amounts of eagles – in the HUNDREDS!!!!Squamish Eagles'13 - 29

Cold + tired, we decided to head back for home.  But not without another staged album cover photo shoot on the log cars!!!!Squamish Eagles'13 - 30

I had so much fun being outside + running around in the snow + the mud chasing after eagles.  Jeff + I thought it was really super special to have our nephew Matt with us rambling on our adventures – it really renewed my faith in kids discovering the craziness in nature + loving the outside world!

I’m definitely going to make this an annual trip + I love me some beautiful bald eagles!!!!!!!Squamish Eagles'13 - 31















17 Comments Post a comment
  1. A LoTR reference! I love it! I also really like the train photo – if I ever meet anyone who needs an album cover, I’ll send them your way. 🙂

    January 31, 2013
  2. Deb Fayle #

    Matthew had such a good day with his aunt and uncle!! Very cool as he spent last week in Outdoor School in Brackendale and when he came back he reported that Shelli would have loved it as there were way more eagles present during his week long stay:) It was nice that he was given the appreciation of eagles through the his day with you … thank you!!

    February 1, 2013
    • I would have LOVED to have seen all the eagles Matt saw when he was at Outdoor School!!! He is welcome to any of our adventure shenanigans, anytime!!!!!

      February 1, 2013
  3. kenneth papi-dad's nishino #

    Aloha, Nan, wow, looks and sounds like U had a
    terrific day with, Jeff and Matt, good on YAH !!!!!
    luv those bell’s, i want one as well, … LOL !!!!! U
    scored on brekky, salmon benedicts, yummm!!!!!
    ok, hope all is well, since, jeff, is now in Calgary,
    thank goodness 4, ur close family in Vancouver,
    and of course the very spoiled, Meg’s…haha !!!!!

    February 1, 2013
    • Yeah dad!!! I’m lucky to have such an amazing family here in Vancouver – but I still miss you guys a ton out there in sunny Los Angeles!!!! Luv ya!!!!

      February 1, 2013
  4. rocky nishino #

    You had beautiful photos. They are unbelievable beauties and gorgeous that you must felt so impressed by the nature of God’s creations. You are very good photographer like your dad. You had an excellent teaching by him when you were young age.
    lov you and miss you,

    February 1, 2013
    • I’m glad you enjoyed the photos mom! Indeed, we spent our whole lives having our photos reviewed + critiqued by dad. I learned a lot from those critique sessions!!!!

      February 1, 2013
  5. Sarah Yellin #

    Um amazing! I, to love the LOTR reference…speaking of, have you seen this?

    February 1, 2013
    • Woah, that is serious LOTR love!!!! Thanks for sharing – totally weird but not surprising!!!! Who told you about that? John????

      February 2, 2013

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