There’s no mistaking the white head and tail. I saw a bald eagle swooping over my yard for the first time. I had seen them increasingly while driving across the Blackwater River and even passed three regulars almost every day on my commute to Salisbury, MD.
Now they had settled in the area. A neighbor had seen a nest on a dirt road near my home.
“Don’t stand up while we’re moving. If we come to a sudden stop, we could lose you.” Ray Paterra, visitor services manager of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, had just given us lifejackets, earmuffs and a safety briefing for the airboat.
As we took off on the Little Blackwater River and throttled up, Angela Crenshaw, ranger at Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park,...
Phillip Hesser teaches at Salisbury University and Wor-Wic Community College, and runs the Dorchester marshes with his retriever, Marshall, and hound, Bayly. He is the author of What a River Says: Exploring the Blackwater River and Refuge and is at work on Sitting in Limbo: Life and Livelihood on the Tumps of Chesapeake Bay.