Home > Uncategorized > Eagle at Bridger-Teton National Forest

Eagle at Bridger-Teton National Forest

Memorial Day

Views from the front yard

Bridger-Teton National Forest

Bridger-Teton National Forest

We pulled into BTNF on Sunday afternoon, a cloudy, windy and cold day – after 5 days & nights of the same dank weather on BLM land outside of Pinedale Wyoming (including snow and sleet and 25 degree nights).

We wound our way up the valley a couple of miles. After passing a few holiday weekend campers – with American flags flying – we found a spectacular site, wedged in a canyon (or is it a valley?) between snow-capped peaks.


A ripping stream flowed maybe 50 feet away, swollen with snow melt, and all I can hear is the roar of the stream and the wind in the trees. The wilderness boundary is about 100 yards behind the site (note the prior small fire on slope to the right).


This morning, shortly after the sun had risen over the mountains, we set out for our morning walk.

It was a sunny cloudless sky – cold, but no wind – and it was tremendous to feel the sun on my face, especially after a cold night, cold morning, and a prior week of cold.

Suddenly, as I looked to my right, I saw a bald eagle flying by. He was moving quickly but flying low, but in the light and with his speed, I didn’t get a good look. Damn, I missed him!

But despite the disappointing lack of a sighting, we had a fine short “hike” and eagerly returned to the bus for coffee and breakfast.

We spent a wonderful day, just puttering around, reading, eating, and taking short walks (altitude about 6,500 feet, which I felt with every step up the mountain trail).

Bouy spent the entire day obsessed by the local prairie dogs, digging frantically and trying to get his head into their burrows. After that and a few walks, he’s now exhausted and about to sleep for the night.

Later afternoon, about 4 pm, as I sat basking in and getting the last of the day’s sun as it was about to go behind the mountains, another bald eagle flew by. I think he was the same one I saw this morning, but moving in the opposite direction.

He was flying low (maybe 30-40 feet) and slow, and just about 100 feet away from me. This time I got a good, long look.

It was one of those intermittently cloudy days, with the huge billowing white clouds that block the sun for 10 minutes or more.

Just as the eagle flew by, a shaft of sunlight emerged from the clouds, and shone a brilliant light, illuminating his cordovan chocolate brown back and white tail feathers.

The contrast of the illuminated eagle against the deep green forested mountain background – which was still clouded in dark shade – was incredible.

The timing of the burst of sunlight simultaneous with the bird flying by was almost mysterious.

I’ve never seen or experienced anything remotely similar.

A memorable and Happy Memorial Day!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.