Friday, January 15, 2016

Eagles Withdraw - Alternate Place to Watch the Eagles Fly

Some folks are having a hard time letting go. Right now our cart is empty and we are shopping for a new coach.


You can stay with the program and watch some other deserving teams move on in the playoffs. We can still cheer on Andy Reid. It does not mean you don't love the Eagles. He is still family and we can't take away the victory Chip gave us over the New England Patriots, that was as close to a "wild card" game as you get! We beat the Brady Bunch. This only happens in a blue mood.



But if you feel you need to fly the coop and get out and see what else is going on in the world in January. You can still watch the eagles at Conowingo Dam in Maryland.  It is about an hour drive from Delaware county and there is this great little "historical" town you can either drive through or stop in for lunch or dinner before or after you days outing. Conowingo Dam is considered the best pace east of the Mississippi to view Bald Eagles, according to harfordbirdclub.org.



If you have never seen an eagle fly or perched up in a tree, this is an absolute guarantee place to see an eagle up close.

Don't be intimidated by the crowds or their equipment but admittedly so I feel a little inadequate when I walk through the crowd with my Canon Rebel XT telephoto 70-300 lens, ultrasonic Macro 1.5m/4.9 ft with an image stabilizer. Basically a child's toy compared to the big boys people at shooting with at Conowingo.



To the left of the parking lot is where "most" of the people go it provides a great vantage point to watch the eagles across the way sitting on the towers.  It is here they will usually perch just before or after a soaring demonstration in the sky. You can watch them and they have their eyes on you.


I still always manage to find an eagle that spots me in a crowd and has mercy and will come to my side of the Susquehanna River and sit relatively close enough to get a decent photograph or two.









Heading to the right of the parking lot you can take a trail and don't forget to look up. Sometimes if you don't notice them they will start a ruckus with another eagle. Usually you can hear their sound.  I can't demonstrate but I can guide you to the allaboutbirds.org website where they have recordings of eagle sounds.



Also along this path you can learn something new about the area, its history. If something is not right in front of our face and happening here and now we rarely think about how we got to this point.  This is the kind of thing that just fascinates me.



Geology
The large outcrops in the hillsides besides this trail expose near vertical layers of gray crystalline rock called gneiss. Geologists interpret these rocks to have originated as a thick accumulation of ancient sediments and volcanic ash which, approximately 400 million years ago, was changed or metamorphosed and recrystallized into granite-like gneiss by great heat and pressure deep within the earth's crust.



At the end of the ice age, about 14,000 years ago, meltwater from glaciers to the north in Pennsylvania and New York made the Susquehanna River larger and much more vigorous than it is today, and it eroded a deep gorge through these hard rocks.


The small quarry openings seen in the valley walls were stone used in the construction of the syquehanna and Tidewater Canal in the 1830's.  The cana; towpath, which now serves as a trail, was used as a roadbed for a railroad to transport materials for construction of the Conowingo Dan in the 1920's

Generalized Geologic Cross Section
Along the Susquehanna River
Pennsylvania to the Chesapeake Bay









Yes, I promised you lunch and I am sure all the restaurants are good in the town of Port Royal but I have always eaten at the same one.  You are in Maryland, I recommend the soup and the crab cakes. It is a great little town.  Take the time to walk around.








They have a Historical House Tour every year at Christmas. I miss it every year but was so close this year.  I only missed it by a day. I am getting closer.








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