Of Eagles, Blood, and Angels

It was just one heck of a nice day to be riding a bike even if I was going to work. Big Nellie was doing her laid back thing and I was cruising along with a nice gentle tailwind.  I cruised through Belle Haven Park and didn’t slip a bit on the abundant colorful leaves covering the Mount Vernon Trail.  Each morning I glance up to a tree on the Belle Haven Country Club golf course on the opposite side of the Parkway from the MVT. Normally, the tree with the abandoned bald eagle nest, what I cleverly call the Belle Haven nest, sits like an avian sky box over the cars lined up to enter the Old Town Alexandria crawl.

This morning was different. In a branch a bit higher than the nest was what looked in the light of dawn like a ball of leaves or maybe a hornets nest. Then I saw a white ball pop out of the mass.  It was the head of a bald eagle. He or she was probably preening but I like to think that it had just awoken from a good night’s rest.

The rest of the ride was rote, but a good rote with all kinds of trees ablaze in their autumn glory.  The rising sun had hidden behind a cloud placed just so to allow sunbeams to shine out from behind it in all directions.  Now and then I hit a bump in the trail. A few of them sent me momentarilly airborne from the plush seat of my recumbent. 

Just north of the Memorial Bridge, I came upon this sign:

What a nice gesture but I could have done without the blood loss bit.

My regulars seemed to be few and far between today. As I approached the Roosevelt Bridge a woman approach on her bike.  She wore a costume of some sort and had an angel’s wing sticking straight out of her back like a dorsal fin.

Not 30 seconds later I saw a man ride toward me. As he passed I recognized him from a meeting I attended a week or so ago at a federal government agency. Of the six people in attendance at that meeting, four were everyday bike commuters, one was a fairweather bike commuter and one was a Capital Bikeshare member.  By golly, I do believe this bike thing is catching on.

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