Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Axis of Eagle, and The Big Dig

Okay, sorry for the pun but I couldn't resist. Being at home sick with the election process burrowing into my brain like hormonal wood tick has gotten to me. But there were axis, and eagles and a dig site the size of the neighborhood HEB. And so goes the weekend.

I'm still sick as a dog
(I coughed and blew my nose so hard this week the doc says I actually blew a hole in each of my ear drums--now when I blow my nose, I hear this horrible whistling noise), but, I got some good writing done and managed to get out of the house after being in bed for a week and a half to go feed the cattle and see what the dredger did on the lake property. The calves are big and getting bigger, but still so cute, and Opa got 12 more calves, so a big time all the way around. R loaded up the feeders. I helped, of course, by cheering him on and playing with the calves. It's tough work, but somebody's gotta do it.

Next, we dropped by for a visit with the eagles. They were there together, steadfast, protecting their nest like a sweet old married couple. A whole group of people were lined up by the road, chatting and making friends over wildlife. I can't help but think there's a metaphor in there somewhere, but I'm sick. I'll look for it later.

Later, at the property we saw Canadian Geese that had migrated down from the land of Universal Healthcare and affordable medicine. As an aside, geese, like Bald Eagles, also pair for life. I'm sensing a theme lately . . .

Later, we saw the biggest Axis deer I've ever seen. Like the Canadian Geese, the Axis don't really belong here, but are here on a work visa to entertain the likes of us. His horns were at least three feet long! When we first saw him, he was on his hind legs knocking down branches to eat the leaves. It was an amazing sight.

The only bump in the weekend was the job the dredger did. I was really disappointed to see the progress on the digging out the mud, muck and flotsam that stormed into the cove during the flooding last summer. The water raged down the canyon so hard it rammed a slab of concrete that was bigger than a Prius into the middle of the cove and sat it up on it's edge like Stone Henge. I guess we should be thankful it's not submerged where someone could hit it. Or dive on top of it.

The only disappointing thing (but it was a BIG disappointment) this weekend was that the dredger guy shoved all that dirt up toward the island, so instead of the channel being deeper, it's actually more shallow. I'm so disheartened, and I just want to send him the page in Websters that says, "Dredge: shipping transitive and intransitive verb to clear, deepen, or widen a waterway, especially one intended for shipping, using a dredge."

I really want to growl, "What were you thinking?" and "We want our money back." *sheesh* So, next weekend, we're getting out the shovels. I'll bring the beer if you'll bring the backhoe . . .

So, back to the digital grindstone tomorrow. I've been off for almost 14 days, but being laid out with a cold doesn't seem like much of a rest . ..

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Eagles are Back!

The Bald Eagles are back! If you haven't seen this astonishing sight, you should pack yourself a lunch and some cold co-colas, bring the binocs and settle in to quietly observe the pair of big birds hunting, fishing and feeding their eaglettes.

Each year the birds come back, build on to their already enormous nest and start hatching their young'uns, and each year we line up to watch as Mama fluffs in the nest, and Daddy makes breathtaking sorties from the highest branch, circles the horizon and comes back with dinner--rabbits, snakes (ick), and the occasional but thrilling fish. These are the same two eagles that come every year, and as a special note to my romance-writing friends, eagles mate for life. A good example as the National Bird if we can follow :)

Last weekend I saw two scruffy looking little poults, but I couldn't get a picture *guess who's asking for a better camera for her birthday*
If you go, remember not to disturb them, it is, afterall, their nursery, and it's against the law. And it's not very nice.The Llano eagle nest is about 100 yards off of Hwy. 29 halfway between Llano and Buchanan Dam.
Click Here for Map to the Eagles
(Warning! Clicking this button is a promise that you will not be mean to the eagles!)

Fun Eagle Facts:

  • Eagles mate for life
  • The Llano Eagle nest is the furthest west nest recorded in the state of Texas.
  • The Eagles usually stay through February
  • The female Eagle's wingspan ranges from 75" to 90."
  • She can fly 20 to 40 mph
  • She can dive at speeds exceeding 100 mph.
  • Bald Eagles weigh between 10 and 14 pounds
  • They live an average of 15 to 20 years.
  • Photo of the eagle in flight is by Bob Owens at San Antonio Express News.

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing
My friend Pantera with Tahoe & Me

Tahoe and a new friend at the signing