Saturday, November 29, 2014

Big Bird

Two species with very large wing spans, Bald Eagle and White Pelican. I am shocked the pelicans are staying in this brutal cold when they could be lounging down on the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe they didn't make reservations in time. This section of the Des Moines River stays open most of the winter and attracts large numbers of eagles, geese and other fish eating birds.



 Ice on the stream makes a delightful pattern.

Treasures I had found two months ago when I sat on this log in shorts.
The translucent colors found in some leaves almost reminded me of Tibetan Prayer flags.

 A dragon perhaps, what do you see?

Two immature Bald Eagles sitting in the renewed snow. We got a good cover again, but it may melt off as most of the previous snow did.

Red-bellied Woodpecker


I enjoyed watching this chipmunk playing and eating in the fresh snow. It made me want to get out with my sled for a bit and make use of this nice powder. I sat and realized how cold it was in about twenty minutes and went home and fixed a pot of coffee. I decided to wait and see if anyone would call and ask me to join them, but with the intense cold many stayed indoors.  I captioned the middle chipmunk picture for Facebook, "A time to feed the cold and hungry." I stay adamant with filling local food pantries to help those in need. As I write this I am waiting for the sun to warm it up a bit and I will be fishing for a few trout to eat for my dinner. It is a happy life for someone living out on the prairie. My thoughts of good health and happiness extends to all of you, carried on a gentle prairie breeze.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The End Of A Month

 


Taking it easy for the holiday


Hickory nuts at the bottom of a tree eaten possibly by the next picture.

Best buck so far




I want this moved to my yard but it won't fit in my truck. It has fell out of the lake bank in the last couple months. I like the vein running through it. This piece possibly came to Iowa from up on the Great Lakes through glacial drift and weighs over 3000 pounds. 



Monday, November 24, 2014

Let's Talk Turkey


It's that time of year to eat a large bird, too many side dishes and hopefully  lots of dessert. Those who know me well know that I may want to start at the dessert end of the meal. I would be stopped if there are children present. My favorite side is the mashed potatoes and gravy.  I would prefer to grill the turkey, but then I would lose the great juices to make gravy. My daughter fattened up a dozen birds this year which makes for a good meal for many. My tradition is to box up the complete meal of ingredients and find a family who needs help to overeat for the day. One year I helped pass out six of these boxes, and the same at Christmas. I had an employer who gave free turkeys to each employee for both holidays and came up with the idea. All who donated always went to family gatherings and had a meal prepared for them anyway. I prefer prime rib or lobster for that next holiday.
 
There is not much to eat other than the breast on these wild birds. I  am more a leg man, as was my grandfather. I used to tease him that I got one near a nuclear plant and they had four legs and were self cooking. My father always took pride in finding the largest bird, and one year it barely fit in the oven. I can still see my mother's eyes rolling when she retold the story, along with my father's always mischievous smile.  Share with me a family tradition and/or favorite items you like for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate.
 





These birds are hard to get close to. Ben Franklin thought the turkey should be our national bird because they were so smart. I have seen the bald Eagles arriving and enjoy that we chose them.
Run, it's the guy with a camera!



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Here's Pie In Your Eye

Dutch Apple
Repairs on a dam lowered  the water level from upstream. I spent the morning going over the riverbed looking for treasures. It was fun to walk where I never had. I came home with three pieces of clam shell and a flat rock I passed to a friend to use as a worry stone. Water levels were returned after two days, and now I may be fishing below there. 
A diamond in the rough I used backlighting with the sun going through this ice.
Two dogs created  a bit of panic in a flock of Canadian Geese numbering over two hundred.

This is a Freedom Rock created by artist, Bubba Sorenson. Go see others he has created at http://www.thefreedomrock.com  . He plans on putting one in each of the 99 counties in Iowa.


Blue Jay

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Osage Orange on a frozen pond 
It was so foggy today I got lost and ended up in my favorite bakery eating samples of doughnut holes and settling down for coffee with biscuits and gravy.

Not much left of this tree, but there still must be some food.



Buck eating locust seed pods