【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (13) White-tailed eagles gaze on the Strait from grand pine

A white-tailed eagle couple rests on the top of a Dahurian larch tree

The sky begins to brighten, and the morning sun starts to rise. A white-tailed eagle couple rest their wings and gaze out on the waters of eastern Hokkaido’s Nemuro Strait.

This Dahurian larch tree in eastern Hokkaido’s Honbetsukai, Betsukai has been selected as a Designated Cultural Property by the town. Exposure to sea winds has strikingly bent the trunk away from the wind. Some of the branches have even sloped down to the ground, and prop up the thick trunk. With its history of withstanding wind and snow over many, many years, this tree looks like a grand bonsai tree.

The sun rises lazily from the horizon. The silhouette of white-tailed eagles and a pine tree strike a sharp contrast against the sky. As time passes, the color of the sky changes from dark blue to a rosy pink and on to a reddish hue, slowly transforming the scenery. And as the sun rises above the pine tree and grows in brightness, fishing boats depart from the nearby fishing port. The white-tailed eagle couple takes to the sky, as if in pursuit of those boats.

Will these ongoing sights grace my eyes again in 2021? Amidst the blowing beach winds, I breathe on my numb fingertips to warm them, and let my mind wonder.