Every day two Golden Eagles worked the updrafts between Polychrome Pass and the hill to the south of the Murie cabin. Mesmerized by their aeronautics, I could sit and watch them forever. I often thought how amazing it would be to soar with the precision of these majestic birds, riding up and down on the currents of the wind, skimming the ground within inches, silently climbing higher in the sky only to turn on a dime and dive straight down at speeds up to 150 miles per hour. What incredible eyesight they must have. This pair worked the area like a fine tuned team, sometimes putting on an air show worthy of the Blue Angels. I’d like to find a way to incorporate this bird of prey into the composition of a future painting.
Gail Niebrugge, Denali Artist-in-Residence