2013-04-11 / Community News

From the Heartland

By Allan Burke

The heartland will have to wait at least another week before the really nice spring weather moves into the area. This week’s highs will top out at 50 degrees and range from 36 degrees. Lows will be between 19 and 32 degrees. Snow showers are mentioned for the weekend. Calving has gone well, and, thanks to the weather, the mortality rate has been lower than for some springs.

The eagle has landed

Leah and I, with Bertram G. “Bert” Retriever in the back seat, drove the pickup to the river Saturday afternoon to see what’s left of the reservoir’s so-called lake and to check on the bald eagle nest we kept track of last summer.

To our delight we spotted the head of Mama Eagle over the edge of the gigantic nest. We could see the top of her white head, her golden beak and her eye whenever she raised her head a bit. She was visible only with binoculars, and we viewers had to be patient to get a glimpse of her.

Eagle nest watchers, out of respect for the big birds, must stay a safe distance away from the nest. We parked on the road, stayed in the pickup and peered at the nest out the window. We repositioned the pickup a couple times to see the nest from different angles.

We had ogled the nest a couple weeks ago but saw nothing on that trip.

Our goal now is to make weekly treks to check on Mama Eagle. It was in June last year when we saw the fledgling sitting on a branch next to the nest, so we are looking forward to checking out this year’s crop. As far as we know, only one fledgling was produced last year, but eagles typically have two babies. Nests with three are not common but even rarer hatches of four have been reported. The incubation period is around 35 days.

In my Google research on bald eagles, I found the mother is larger than the father, although their plumage is the same. Their wing spans can be up to eight feet.

Yup. We’re expectant bird watchers waiting to see a fledgling or two.

Back on the bottle

I’m back on the bottle of cough syrup after a bout of bronchitis that set in over Easter. I was just starting to go to the office when the malady arrived, so now I’m back to working at home.

Nebulizer treatments three or four times a day with a machine provided by the clinic are helping as is the latest round of antibiotics.

Leah has been entertaining a cold at the same time, so I’ve been doing my best to pamper her. Thankfully, she is feeling better although this year’s colds don’t know when to go away.

We can’t wait until it warms up. If we have three 60-degree days in a row, we and a lot of other people will be in the streets with noisemakers and party hats.

Happy cat

Daisy T. Cat has been more active than usual because she is aware the outside temperature is moderating these days. Although she is a house cat and never goes outdoors, she has been showing interest when we let Bert in and out.

To keep Miss Kitty content, we opened a window during the nicer days so that she could sit on the sill and cat-surf in the fresh air. She takes a great interest in our bird feeders, but the window screen prevents her from doing anything more than fantasizing about a song bird lunch.

Daisy is 12 or 13 years old, and she can no longer leap from the floor up onto the window sill, so we have to position the furniture strategically so she can make the trip in three or four small jumps.

A feline in the fresh air is a happy cat.

The digital age

If you haven’t already done so, please check out the store on our new website, www.ecrecord.com. You may find something for yourself or a great gift for someone else.

While you’re exploring the website, why not buy a gift subscription for a relative or friend? You can buy online subscriptions for one month, three months, six months or a year, and the recipient will appreciate your thoughtfulness. More and more people who live out of state appreciate the online edition because they have access to the paper bright and early every Wednesday morning.

Please don’t be bashful if you have suggestions for the website or have any question about how to navigate around in it.

As always, we provide free online subscriptions to anyone serving in the military. Just provide us with their e-mail address and a simple password, and we’ll make sure they get the news from back home.

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