Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Eagle Has Landed

I am more than willing to agree with any critic who points out that the cozy or traditional mystery sub-genre is unrealistic.  Especially the sub-sub-genre I write in: the amateur sleuth.  Good heavens, what is this person with no training, no badge, no official status doing meddling in murder investigations?  She should stick to her knitting.  On the other hand, reality is at least equally stupid and even, uh, “unrealistic.”  I offer as evidence the following collection of actual misbehavior by law-breakers: http://www.collegehumor.com/post/7040496/some-lawyer-is-posting-hilarious-tips-on-facebook.  I could not use any of these in a plot, any editor would turn it down as unbelievable.

Yesterday - Monday afternoon - in a light snowfall, I was driving home on Louisiana Avenue, through a neighborhood of small, well-kept houses. and to my astonishment saw a bald eagle on someone’s front lawn.  His wings were moving, he was obviously standing on something struggling.  There was already snow on the ground, several inches of it, so I couldn’t see what he had hold of.  I drove a block farther, then turned into a driveway and changed direction to take another look, but when I got back, he had flown off, probably with his early supper.  It is remarkable how these magnificent birds have become almost common.  I’ve seen them in the area, flying and roosting in trees, but this is the first time I’ve seen one on the ground.  Though now I think about it, maybe it’s the same bird, or one of a mated pair I'm seeing; my sightings have all been within a few miles of one another.  How big is an eagle’s territory?


Linda O. Johnston said...

My favorite quote is "Reality is only for those who lack imagination." And how wonderful that you're seeing bald eagles!

Betty Hechtman said...

How exciting to see an eagle on the ground. I didn't know they'd become common. I see red tailed hawks all the time here. Mostly riding the air currents. Once one was sitting on our birdbath. Before I got a really good look, it flew away totally without a sound.

Monica Ferris said...

They're not exactly common, I guess. I never, ever saw one as a child or teen. In fact, I can remember my parents waking me one night when I was six or seven and taking me outside to listen to a very small flock (maybe eight or nine?) Canada geese flying south. I remember seeing them as they crossed the moon. They had become rare. Now they're a nuisance. Bald eagles had become even more rare in the lower U.S. I think I remember reading that there were 500 mated pairs in the whole lower forty-eight. Then they became more common out in the wilderness. Now they're moving into the suburbs. I suppose they, too, will become a nuisance. And unlike Canada geese, these creatures are large and fierce. I was making a hopeful assumption that the one I saw had a squirrel in his talons. It might have been a cat or small dog.

Monica Ferris said...

Another nice quote from Glenn Reynolds' blog, commenting on a stupid drug dealer who accidentally sent an email to a deputy sheriff offering to sell meth and guns:
"The movies are filled with criminal masterminds because real life isn’t."