It’s been a while since I’ve been out on my own to do something fun. There were the holidays, of course, but those involved other people, and sometimes I just need to get away and be by myself, and for months I’ve either been at home or running errands, and those don’t count because even if I’m running errands by myself it’s, well, like work. So anyway I decided to go to Radnor Lake. Even in normal times Radnor is my go-to getaway—it’s nearby, it’s got beautiful scenery, and it’s nice to just get out and walk. And there’s always something slightly different about it each time. I’m sure I’ve been to Radnor in the winter before but I can’t remember ever being there when most of the leaves had fallen and the trees were so stark and bare. There are places where you can be less than a hundred feet from the lake and, most of the year, can’t see it, but as I walked around the lake I never lost sight of it it. Somehow I’d also never realized before how much leaves muffle sound. I was on one side of the lake and could hear people laughing and dogs barking on the other side, and every footstep seemed exceptionally loud, probably because I was walking on so many leaves.
We’d also had some serious rain lately—in fact it was the rain that made me decide I need to get out. Last Thursday I sat at my desk working away when we had a sudden and highly localized hurricane that turned the entire backyard into, well, a small lake, and flooded our basement. When I went to Radnor I could see the aftereffects. Otter Creek, which feeds the lake, is normally a trickle. It was a rushing cataract and the sound was intensified.
I also saw new signs about the bald eagles which are now nesting around Radnor Lake. There have been bald eagles spotted there before, but this is the first time ever recorded that they’ve taken up residence.
So I made it there and made the walk around the lake, but the hard part was getting there in the first place, because everyone had the same idea I did. The parking lot for Radnor is long and narrow and it doesn’t take many people to fill it, and, well, I did feel bad for taking up an entire car by myself, but see the aforementioned need to get away. Luckily I only had to circle the parking lot for half an hour before I found a spot.
And it was crowded, but one of the nice things about a wooded park is even with a lot of people there we all tend to spread out.
Then, as I was walking back to my car, a woman who had apparently also been circling the parking lot for a while, pulled up next to me.
“Please tell me you’re leaving,” she said.
I smiled and told her I was, and I was happy to let her have my spot. I could tell she needed to get away too.
And of course the eagles brought to mind this old bit that I reminisced with a friend about when I got home.
I need to get back to Radnor. It has been too long. I need to take a mid-week day off – I can do Radnor, Trader Joe’s and a car wash without fighting the madding crowds. By the way, some friends in Franklin have been seeing bald eagles at a pond in their community. This seems hopeful.
It really is great that bald eagles are coming around here. My wife saw one fly over the backyard recently which was pretty cool.
Having to deal with the madding crowds is the one downside of going to Radnor on the weekends, though, and you’re smart for thinking of doing a mid-week day. If I’d planned a little better I would have done the same.
Cheers for your much-needed getaway, Chris. I hope you soon spot an eagle in its new habitat. We now have them at Onondaga Lake, and I thrill at my sightings!
They really are remarkable and you’re lucky to see them regularly. Also it’s funny that I didn’t see it at the time but I just ran across an article about “the bald eagle paradox”–there’s a long history of people revering them as a symbol but hating the actual bird. I can’t understand that. I think they’re remarkable no matter what.
So glad you were there, Chris, and that you brought us with you. And I’d love to see an Eagle and hope not to see dangerous flying objects any time soon.
I forgot to mention the time I was walking through my neighborhood and saw at least twenty black vultures gathered in someone’s front yard. Fortunately they were all on the ground or they’d be dangerous flying objects, but really the only danger was that I stopped and laughed.