The first snow shoe hike on Elk this week had me breathing heavily, most of the time looking at the snow a few feet in front of me.
At one point, having to take a break, I looked up to see a large bird meandering on a thermal. I tried to imagine what the bird saw from its vantage point, how large an animal I appeared to be from that perspective, and if I looked at all appetizing.
His coloring was pretty close to a turkey vulture, but the breadth of his wings, the pace of his flight, and the flatness of his shoulders confirmed that I knew this fellow.
He had been frequenting the mountain the last couple of weeks of ski season.
“A pair must be nesting nearby.” someone observed.
Eagles have been more prominent lately around area lakes; this youngster seems to prefer the views of the trails of Elk.