This morning I was reminded why I live and work here in the Pacific Northwest.  For those who are not familiar with the Seattle area, it's an area of surprising natural beauty and high density urban and suburban living.   You’ve got the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascades to the east.  There’s Mount Baker to the North and Mount Rainier to the South.  And there’s water everywhere you look.

Early this morning I lugged my inflatable kayak three blocks down to Lake Washington.  The water was like glass.  There was no wind to speak of and only a few clouds in the sky—perfect conditions for a short paddle before work.

As a school of salmon fry jumped all around me I got to watch a bald eagle fishing. The eagle’s wingspan was 4-6 feet across as it soared effortlessly above me.  It would start from the trees on the shore and make a low pass over the water, dropping its claws down to snag unsuspecting fish swimming too close to the surface.  It could care less about me on the water or the smaller birds that were dive-bombing it.

I’ve lived here in Seattle for move than a dozen years and I see bald eagles pretty regularly.  But every time I see them I am still awed.