Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eagle Eye

Saffie thought that if Eagles could dress up like ducks why couldn't she. Sammy's not sure if she's an Eagle, a duck or just a little kid.
This past weekend found the Blumes, once again, on a quest. Sure it's been cold here in Wisconsin but, if you want cold, you have to travel up to Minnesota. They really know what cold is about up there. To create an excuse for the trip, Jo, Jeanna, Reid's Mom and one of Summer's friends threw a baby shower for Summer and Baby Nimz (The Nimzlet). Fortunately Derek and Jeanna have a larger car allowing us to transfer the contents of a Babies R Us north. I was planted firmly behind the steering gadget, Jeanna rode "Shotgun" and Jo and Saffie squeezed into little spaces between gifts, food and decorations. After five or six hours of Old MacDonald, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and other assorted toddler musical entertainment we arrived at the Nimz Estate. From the looks of the pile of baby type gifts that spilled from the dinning room into the rest of the house, the shower was a huge success. While twenty or so lovely ladies oohed and aahed over gifts and games and food, Reid and I took sanctuary at the nearest sport bar for beer, burgers and conversation. All in all it was an enjoyable weekend. But I did have an ulterior motive for accompanying the girls to the frozen tundra for the weekend. EAGLES!
On the way up we took the freeway. But, on the way home I took my favorite route along the River because this time of year loads of eagles congregate by any area of unfrozen water. Sunday was no different. At one point between Lake City and Winona we encountered one swarm of at least 20 (I'm told that a swarm eagles is actually called a convocation) that soared overhead just fooling around. They really have fun. They dive, swoop, roll and I think I saw one do a back flip. Meanwhile down on the River the more serious ones were having dinner. Fish on ice seemed to be the special of the day. It's sort of the eagle version of a Wisconsin fish fry. I know you're anxious to see a bunch of wonderful photos of these exquisite birds but, no I have none. I spent a good portion of a sleepless night working on excuses. As usual I had forgotten most of them when I woke up the next morning. But I did manage to retain one or two late night thoughts that I'd like to share. 1 - Eagles only allow you a chance photograph them if, you're a mile away, your camera is either out of film or has dead batteries, you in danger of becoming road kill because there's nowhere to pull over on a roadway, or if you're a National Geographic photographer. 2 - Those blue headlights aren't only on snotty luxury sedans. We encountered an Amish buggy sporting them the other evening. Kinda funny, we passed three buggies. The first one had no lights, the second, the usual flickery battery powered flashlight sort, but the third one was decked out with blue-white LEDs. What next, big subwoofers blasting hymns from under the front bench? 3 - What's with Toyota? Are they finally catching up with US quality? This seems to be opening the door for other imports to edge in on T's number one ranking. Mazda, for instance, makes no bones about their appreciation. (See pic below) 4 - Just as I'm really getting tired of winter I'm reminded of some of the nice things about this time of year. Yesterday I decided to take back roads home from the grocery store. Not only did I spot 4 eagles (with nowhere to safely pull over without the possibility of getting slammed into by a runaway Ford F150) I did run across numerous "Christmas Card" type photo opportunities). I finally found a place to stop and take a few shots. I do have to credit a "Blogger Friend" (EvilBear) for inspiring me to shoot some winter landscapes. He's been shooting some real great winter scenes lately and that sort of reopened my eyes to the beautiful surroundings in my own neighborhood. Lastly, this morning, on the way home from dropping Jo off at her bosses house, I saw a little Red Fox scampering through the snow along a fence row. I wish I could share that scene with you but, no camera. But it was a wonderful way to start a gloomy February morning. 5 - My regrets go out to all the folks (Snow Birds) down in Arizona who are getting a lot of rain this season. Just remember - "It's Dry Rain". And, 6 - At last we can start counting down to the end of Winter in weeks and not months.

Now, here's a jolly car with properly functioning accelerator pedal?

Just a couple of views of a Wisconsin farm.

I think I hear "Rock of Ages"!