Friday, March 12, 2010

Mud Season Begins

The snow is rapidly disappearing--and it should! It hasn't been below freezing all week. I snapped this shot just before the big warm up. It's been really active at Catfish Corner these days. In the past week I have been a chimney sweep, a "shed" hunter, creator of new works in the shop, cleaner outter of the hoop house, and horse groom for shaggy ponies. All this while Don is getting us ready for the dreaded tax appointment.

Next week I will be trailering Fran's two horses to Albert Lea, Minnesota, we will get the taxes done in Winona, and I will travel up to Luck to deliver the "Trinity" window to Grace Lutheran and visit my friends in Luck!

So what's "shed" hunting? Our evening visitors--the bucks--showed up last Friday without their antlers!  I was tracking the deer trails in search of those "shed" antlers. It was brilliant sunshine last Saturday when I decided to go "in search of". There was still plenty of snow but it was soft and hard to walk in. Just like walking on a snow "beach". 

What I found, however, was not anything I would have ever expected to find--namely, the remains of an eagle. I first found a trail of feathers and later came across the partial skeleton. It could have been anything until I saw the big yellow talons. It was a fresh kill but there wasn't a shed of flesh left. Nor was there a head, body, or much else to identify it.

I called our friend and DNR Wildlife Manager, Kris Johansen, at his Alma, Wisconsin, office Monday morning and told him about the find. He said it is common for eagles to kill each other this time of year as they are very protective about their territorial rights. We have an eagle nest several hundred yards from where I found the carcass. We have been witness to lots of fighting going on so that was probably what happened. The other possibility was that it was sick or injured and if it was on the ground it would have been a target for all kinds of predators. 

It is illegal for non-native Americans to possess any parts of an eagle. Kris said there is a place in Colorado which serves as a repository for deceased eagles; however, given the condition of this one, he suggested that Mother Nature be in charge of the proper disposal of the remains. Our water has been rising daily so I expect what little is left will be swept down the slough for fish food.

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