Last Friday after school, I decided to go check in with the local eagles. As a colleague had suggested, leaf buds were coming out promising to obscure future views to the nest.
When I arrived, one adult was on the nest, one was down the river a few trees. At the right side of the nest I could just see movement. Binoculars confirmed two fuzzy gray heads bopping around waiting for dinner.
Shortly after I got there, the parent on the tree took off and made huge, graceful swoops over the parking lot and the empty lot across the road, flying out of sight presumably to pick up a to-go order.
The parking lot dwellers went into a frenzy of battery and lens changes for their massive cameras. This is my version of penis envy:”Did you see the size of the lens on that guy? Rowr!” They were really excited because one of the eagles had unsuccessfully tried to take down a Canada goose earlier in the day within their camera range.
Fish, it’s what’s for dinner. Mostly I know it was a fish because the giant camera people were getting pictures of the fish’s nose hair (if that was a thing) and squealing about it. I just listened intently and documented what I could with my average sized camera.
Hey, baby, it’s not the size. It’s how you use it. (FYI, perverts, this is a lie.)
With dinner served, the fuzzy gray heads were back demanding food and attention. I felt like a celebrity seeking paparazzo.
I loved Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom as a little kid. Marlon and his trusty sidekick Jim were a wonderful if sometimes dramatic window into nature. Like many who watched the show, the poorly thought out capturing of a giant anaconda episode was the one that stuck with us.
Who rides in on horseback to catch a snake? Lasso it? Subdue it with a flour sack? What happened to the budget for this episode?
Who cuts this clip off just as Jim is going to drown!
This episode was memorable not only for the high drama and epic voice overs, but for the fact that MARLON GOT IN TO THE MIX! My childhood memory says that Jim did all the dirty work while Marlon kicked back and worked on his voice over inflection. “Watch Jim capture cubs from this hungry mother lion. And now a word from our sponsors.”
Maybe this is why part of my brain was like: “Yeah, you should totally pick up that baby groundhog. Go for it!”
In a vaguely related train of thought, I got a new phone today and it has a video slo-mo function which makes everything the cats do look like Wild Kingdom! Slo-mo makes house cats in to the tigers, lions, and panthers that they secretly think they are.
Marlon: “Watch as Birdie and Olivia use ancient feline techniques to smack the shit out of each other.”
Marlon: “Attempting to establish dominance, the 8 pound TuxedoFeles antagonizes the black panther that is twice her weight. Hopefully Jim won’t get too close to the claws and fangs.”
Yep, I’m Jim.