Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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04/06/2005: "Recycling Eagles"

I went out to the recycling center during my lunch break and there were literally hundreds of eagles swarming about. I started to take a couple photos but after I had only taken a couple quick snaps a woman pulled up in a big truck and told me it was "illegal" to take photos out there. I guess the recycling center is a big terrorist target here in Juneau.

Anyway, check out the three eagle photos I managed to take before I got run off.

Replies: 4 Comments

on Thursday, April 7th, Jim said

What??? Did you get a picture of her? And did you happen to mention that we are in the land of the free? Not the home of the scared? And of which land the *eagle* is a symbol???? I only hope it was because they don't want to give info to miscreants who would come out and harm the eagles.

Great eagle photos though!

on Thursday, April 7th, Elise said

Yah Jim, the irony wasn't lost on me either!

Actually she didn't say it was due to fear of terrorism… that was just a guess; it does seem like we can’t take pictures near anything of interest since 911.

I do seriously doubt anyone would harm the eagles though. It’s already illegal for a non-Native American to even own an eagle feather, even if you just find it on the beach. Plus there are always a lot of people around when they’re open, and it’s all locked up at night (but the eagles don’t stay there at night anyway).

It reminded me of films like “Year of Living Dangerously” where photojournalists get stopped by soldiers with guns asking them to hand over their film. I saw her staring at my camera and I seriously thought she might ask me for my memory card! And it was so hard to quit taking the pictures because after I put the camera away they were flying all around doing aerial acrobatics and I wanted to get some better quality shots but I guess I’ll have to find another way, or be less obvious about it next time.

on Thursday, April 7th, Jim said

Well, here in the Puget Sound region we've had two incidents that are related to this. There have been eagle mutilations (40 birds) in Vancouver in the last two months.

And in my hometown a photographer was harassed by Homeland Security at our locks because he was taking photographs. They almost confiscated his camera, grilled him for a couple of hours and harassed him at home for a couple of weeks afterwards. It turns out he has brown skin and tons of camera happy white tourists somehow did not get that treatment. Hmmm....

on Thursday, April 7th, Elise said

Yah, that doesn't surprise me unfortunately. There was a film in our local film festival about a summer tradition here where parents and kids jump from the downtown docks into the channel. They've been doing it for years and now they can't anymore. The guy making the film got the people from Homeland Security (or wherever) coming up to them, insisting they stay out of the water, that they turn off their camera, etc. etc. Now they have the area all roped off. It's really a tragic state of affairs. Ben Franklin said it best:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.