This weekend wasn’t the best weather for a trip to the cottage, but we had lots of things we wanted to do inside, so regardless of the forecast that we would only see one hour without rain all weekend, off we went. We managed to load the car before the rain started, but as we left we had torrential rain and a thunderstorm. It was so bad that we got soaked just getting in the car and my husband abandoned the umbrella on the driveway because he was getting wetter trying to manage it to take it with us.
Maggie spent the first part of our journey quaking on my lap, but eventually the thunderstorm passed and the weather began to clear.
We had a break in the weather when we arrived and actually unloaded the car in the dry, but it was short lived and the rain returned with another thunderstorm.
We had a huge amount of rain!
The water was running down the driveway and making quite a bog just outside the back door. However, the weather did break again and within minutes the sun shone and it was quite a different picture.
It was 5pm and the forecast had called for sun for about an hour around 6pm. We looked at the sky and all seemed calm. We had some blue sky and the clouds didn’t look like storm clouds, so we grabbed the moment knowing it was probably the only moment this weekend if we were going to take the canoe out to see the eaglets.
It takes a few minutes to get set up to take the canoe out and we were a little unsure of the weather as we set off. The clouds had darkened a little, but there was still blue sky and the dark clouds seemed a long way off. We decided to take our chances and head out to the nest.
We were thrilled that we did, because as we got close we got to witness one of the eaglets flying! Like proud parents we watched as our “not so little” eaglet flew on and off the nest. It was so lovely to watch and good to see that one is now flying. Its sibling remained in the nest and we don’t know if it has flown yet. It was on the left, so it is possibly the one that has seemed less active so far.
When our eaglet returned to the nest and we saw the two together and it was easy to anthropomorphize that the older one was telling its younger sibling about its flying adventure – come on, you can do it too!
Whilst the sky was lovely and blue beyond the nest, to the left of the nest the clouds were getting darker and we began to worry that the storm was returning quicker than we expected. As much as we would have liked to stay and watch for longer, we knew it would take 15 minutes to get back to the cottage and we had to turn around and start heading back. The lake was unusually busy. I guess many people had also grabbed the few minutes of clear sky to take their boats out and they too were now heading back.
One group of teenagers were very disrespectful and went speeding past us, creating a huge wake that we had to turn our canoe into. We lost time doing that, because it pointed us away from the cottage and made our journey longer. Another two boats also came by quicker than usual and we had to deal with their wake too. Most of the time we find people will slow their boats when they see a canoe, but I guess everyone was too focused on getting back before the storm hit to think about the effect the wake from their boat would have on us.
The cloud was creeping closer and we could hear a few claps of thunder. This was not good! We were now only five minutes from the cottage and turning into our bay. We stayed close to the shore and thankfully we made it back before the storm finally hit.
We felt really bad when we got home and found poor Maggie, who we left alone in the cottage, now quaking behind the sofa at the sound of the thunder!
As it turned out, braving the storm was worth it to see the eaglet flying, but it was a close call. I do wonder if the timing worked to our advantage though. If they had been hunkered down in their nest all day with the storm raging earlier, the break in the weather might have been what prompted the flying that we got to witness. Who knows, maybe that was the first flight that we got to see? Our eaglet too might have wanted to seize the window in the weather to stretch its wings and make the most of the sunshine before the storm returned. Thankfully we had a nice dry cottage to return to. I would not want to be in their nest this weekend!