This painting was inspired from a one-of-a-kind experience.

A few years back, we were visiting the Flat Tops Wilderness area, fishing at a small lake called Champan Reservoir. It’s a few miles outside the tiny mountain town of Yampa. On this particular day, we had the lake to ourselves. I had camped and fished at Chapman as a child and so I knew the best spot to fish from. We walked around the lake and settled in for a relaxing few hours. Across the lake we saw a bald eagle take flight. It glided so effortlessly on the air, that in itself was a special moment. But then, to our dismay, it dove straight toward a smaller bird. At first we thought we were about to witness a raw moment in nature, the eagle attacking and killing the smaller bird. But that was not to be!

To our delight, after a few seconds of the eagle chasing the smaller bird, the tables turned.

The smaller bird began chasing the eagle! We watched, mesmerized for 20-30 minutes as the two birds chased, dived, climbed into the sky, glided, landed and started all over again with ever changing roles of pursuer and prey. We were watching an eaglet being trained! We’ve always known that momma birds eventually kick baby birds out of the nest, but we had no idea that birds train their young. A truly memorable day!

Click here to view more of Tom’s paintings.