Dad blamed Bald Eagle, symbol of our great United States of America just swooped past Big House and rose up to a high perch on a hay bale.
Right out front, between Big House and highway. Whoops! He just hopped down and caught a mouse. Back up now. Majestic looking, swallowing a mouse.
Tommie Rinard planted Pearl Millet out front this year to soak up some of the nitrogen eight or ten years of alfalfa had fixed into the soil. Past Thursday or Friday he made second cutting for the season. This year has turned out to be a big one for small varmints, rabbits, mice and moles. Mowing that tall thick millet uncovered a bunch of them.
Birds discovered the bounty. Crows, and then the Eagles. Swooping, landing, catching and eating. Tommy was providing a feast for gourmet hunter/scavenger birds and they put on a show for him during and after their meal.
[private] I think the eagles were a family. A couple of nests are located not far away. Recent past years they’ve perched in tall old Sycamores below Big House in river bottom land. All their favorite old bare branched trees have fallen now. They don’t like perching among small or leafy top branches which might obscure their vision and impede fast take off and landing.
A couple of the eagles in the millet were adults with full bright white heads and tails. The rest were immature with mottled plumage only suggestive of the appearance they’ll have as adults. The one out front now is mottled, sort of raggedy looking.
A fire this morning at Doghouse. First of the season. I’d laid one day before yesterday after a forecast for chilly nights this weekend. This morning about 5:00 I woke with a slight shiver and decided it was time.
A small fire with Red Cedar. Quick heat, but doesn’t hold a fire long. Crackles nicely too. Makes me think I’m getting warmer even before the heat settles around me.There is simply nothing to compare with a chilly morning, a popping cedar fire, a gurgling creek, a comfortable recliner and no good reason besides this column to jump out and get to work.
But then the other side of the equation. The fire is a product of the wood I split last week. Mounted my handy dandy three point hitch hydraulic splitter on Kubota tractor and went to work. Split a fair pile, which when added to left overs from last year will provide enough popping fires to do me this season.
Just jumped right into it. Lifting chunks, pulling levers, throwing splits, right up to lunch time. Paused to heat a box of my vegetable goopy which I ate with fresh garden tomatoes on the side. Relaxed and read a few pages of a good book before heading back to wood pile.
That’s when I realized I might have made a mistake. Seventy-two years old. Arthritis. Sloppy old muscles I don’t use so much any more. I’ve been in pain ever since I stood up after lunch that day. This time it’s mainly my shoulders and neck. Bad enough to make it tough to look both ways before entering traffic at a square intersection. I came close to getting run over at the end of Big House’s lane yesterday.
I recently went through seventeen sessions at Bensenhaver Physical Therapy in Moorefield. Arthritic lower back pain. I don’t know if Calvin Bensenhaver “cured” me, but I can say my back hasn’t bothered me since, Makes me wonder what he could do with shoulder and neck pain. Makes me wonder if the Veteran’s Administration will send me to find out.