Monday, January 23, 2012

My, What Large Talons You Have!

An Bald Eagle’s grip is believed to be about 10 times stronger than the grip of an adult human hand and can exert upwards of 400 psi. At least that is what Ted, our private naturalist guide, told us on our eagle tour at Kentucky Lake. 

Why on earth were we roaming Land Between the Lakes in January looking for American Bald Eagles in the wild?  It comes down to one very special reason. 

This Boy

Binoculars clasped in hand three year old A says, "Shhh! Quiet! Eagles are over there".
  You see, it's his third birthday and he looooOoooves birds. He love birds in the same way that some children love Mickey Mouse and others love macaroni and cheese. He enjoys watching them from the window in Daddy's recliner, pointing them out from the car, and "shhhshing" everyone to be quiet when we are on a walk and a birdie is near.  Red, blue, gray, black, he loves them all.

A's tasty birthday hummingbird cake

His love for birds is an interesting development considering his mother is not the biggest fan of the germy, annoying, loud winged species, despite this, as a family we do our best to encourage each others passions. In fact, we've helped him start a small collection of Audubon plush birds, we're fond of this particular brand because the recorded calls are true the what you would listen for to identify a bird call in the wild.

"Hi, my name is... Talon"

 Strange but True Fact: While A was incubating in the womb my husband really wanted to name him Talon because it sounded "manly" but instead he wound up with a name that means manly. Now that he loves birds I kind of feel bad for vetoing that name choice. Eh, Not Really

Because of state car seat law requirements much to our surprise, we wound up getting our own private guide in a van that could accommodate our little people. The folks over at the nature center are are wonderful to families with little ones.

Just beyond this sign to the right of the shore, in a tree, sits..
...a 10 year old bald eagle nest that they return to every year.
   The eagles hang out along the tree line waiting for fish
Daddy and A observing  an Bald Eagle in the wild through a spotting scope

If your in the area and interested in viewing eagles it's not too late to sign up for a tour, they continue through February. The provide an educational lecture, transportation, scopes, and excellent certified naturalist tour guides. 

Unfortunately, my point and shoot camera isn't exactly the best for capturing eagles and I was only able to manage one close up  shot...

LOL, alright.. not a real eagle but an adorable Audobon plush, a gift for the birthday boy! 

The eagle has landed
Okay, here is our best shot of a REAL eagle perched in the tree. Look closely, can you see him?

Now can you see him?
 This full grown male is actually about 2ft tall perched on the tip of the tree. Birding is hard work, just like playing eye spy, and with patience and practice you can get good at it! Thankfully we could see him very clearly through the scope and we also found another eagle perched along the shore.

It certainly wasn't a standard Chuck E Cheese party but we sure did have fun celebrating A's birthday and learning between the lakes (despite being camera shy).
Courtesy Darrin Phegley Evansville Courier & Press
For better pictures of our local birds, check out this recent article in the Evansville Courier & Press. Darrin Phegley captured some beautiful images.

Running Behind

Stay tuned... I'll be catching up on here.

I got behind on blogging happens and rocks crack windshields, laundry gets behind, 342 birthday parties hit in the month of January, raccoons get in the attic, chimneys collapse, baby gets 6 new teeth, spending all our free time at parks during these freakish warm fronts, cooking contests, trips out of town, going diaper free, etc. I could ramble on but I think you get the picture and as if the mental image of my perpetually sleepy state isn't enough I'll leave you with these untouched photos of real life just for fun.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas 2011: Part 1

Happy New Year Everyone!

I took a break from blogging during the holiday season but I'm back with lots of pictures and fun stories. This year was especially fun because A, soon to be three, was old enough this year to really get into the Christmas cheer.

Granny is no longer with us but her traditions and love for Christmas stay tucked very near to my heart. One special thing we always did at Granny and Pappa's was a "Happy Birthday Jesus (HBJ)" cake and reading the nativity story from the Bible before opening gifts.

 I made the cake and not only was it was my first non disastrous attempt at fondant, I somehow managed to make a chocolate cake from scratch that was moist and delicious. This year I saved myself a few hours and topped the cake with silk flowers but look forward to getting more practice and time (says the Mom of 2 boys, two and under) to make my own edible flowers someday. Stay tuned... as there will be more cake attempts this January with all the upcoming birthdays.

4 mini layers of dark chocolate cake layered with green tinted mint buttercream and crushed Andes mints, covered in marshmallow fondant. 

Speaking of celebrating Jesus' birthday, we discovered a local church that puts on a charming live nativity display complete with live animals, and a real camel visiting all the way from St. Louis.

Of course, A spent the whole ride home talking about the"camel's yellow pee pee waterfall", but  he seemed to find a greater appreciation for the nativity set when we got home.

 Snow can be hit or miss here but sometimes weather conditions are only limited by our creativity. In my oppinion every Christmas should be a white Christmas, even if your snowball fights are indoors. 


  To be continued...