It’s the Fourth of July! We celebrate this date to commemorate our independence as a nation. The Bald Eagle is a symbol of that independence, that American spirit. I saw my first Bald Eagle in the wild on the Fourth of July fourteen years ago from a river raft on the Colorado River. My friends and I were on a white water rafting trip and I was awestruck to realize that I could actually see Bald Eagles in the wild. I must have led a very sheltered life up to that point. I’m pretty certain my 2009 self would be awestruck at how many I’ve seen and photographed in the 14 years since my first sighting. I celebrate my independence every day and I appreciate the marvelous opportunities that I have had over the years because of our independence. I photographed this Bald Eagle while standing ankle deep in the Uganik River on Kodiak Island, Alaska this past May while waiting for Kodiak Brown Bears to come down to the flats nearby so we could photograph them, too. Independence. What a treasure.