New Year 2009

Tuesday night we went to a QU women’s basketball game–Lowell, Savannah and me.  We stomped the other team.  I was surprised we didn’t make it to 100 points.  We had dinner afterward at the Chinese buffet–Savannah’s favorite.

Wednesday morning I chainsawed the last of the downed limbs and we took the last load of brush to the dump, I hope.  Stacey raked up the smaller limbs (and leaves and sweetgum balls), which we shoveled onto a canvas and dumped in the woods.  Job done!  I had some spare time before lunch and went down to shoot eagles.

Coming in for a landing.

Sailing by.


A fish in the mouth is worth…a meal.                                                

I AM smiling!

Cleaning fish bits off the bill.

Yelling solves everything.

Let’s both yell at the immature newcomer.

I went back in the afternoon, but there wasn’t much activity.  There were also too many people about.  Savannah went with a friend to Quincy for a movie and teen night at a club.  Stacey and I went out to dinner with another couple.   We went to bed and didn’t even stay up until midnight.  Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day I went out to Lowell’s.  My bow was still set up for bunny hunting since I had not hunted deer this year.  We tromped around the frozen ground.  It was 20 degrees and windy, and kinda cold at first.  I jumped up and down on a brush pile and flushed a cottontail out, but it ran about a hundred yards away.  I knew more or less where it was, and after checking another brush pile, I saw the rabbit hunkered down in the woods about 10 yards from the trail.  I drew and shot.  The rabbit hopped away like it wasn’t feeling too well, and stopped by a tree about 20 yards away.  I figured it was hit and fired again.  My arrow went high and the rabbit ran off.  There was a decent tuft of hair left by the first arrow.  I had hit him, but not well.  We looked around for awhile, but could not turn up the bunny.  We should have taken the second shot with the contender, which is what we have always done in the past.  We walked the rest of the place and saw no more rabbits.  The activity warmed us up though.  It was noon when we finished, but we didn’t think there would be anywhere open serving lunch nearby.  I went home and napped much of the afternoon away, catching a few episodes of the Twilight Zone marathon on Sci Fi while drifting in and out of consciousness.

Friday we hung about the house much of the day.  In the latter part of the morning I went eagle hunting again.


Failure.

W I N G S P A N

In the afternoon we went to Quincy.  Stacey dropped off Savannah and me at QU main campus while she went to Hannibal for a visitation.  I checked my mail, then Savannah and I walked the eight blocks to North Campus.  I called one of my students so that we could go over his schedule.  We finished just before Stacey arrived to pick us up.  Savannah played computer games.  We had a Burger King dinner on the way out of town.  There was a lovely moon out when we got home.

Saturday morning I racked my wine and got a few other little jobs done.  Savannah went shopping in Quincy with a friend.  Stacey and I stayed home.

Sunday morning I went down to shoot eagles, but they weren’t very cooperative.  There were many out, but they spent all their time soaring over the river on the steady wind.  Furthermore, the sun disappeared behind a veil of clouds.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much.  It was Savannah’s first day at her new job at Orsheln Farm and Home.  Truly we live in the best of all possible worlds.  The place is only a couple of blocks away from our house.  The job is better than any of the food service or other jobs one her age is likely to secure around here.  She gets an employee discount that’s good for the whole family.  They have lots of tools and things that I often need.  I’ve already gotten some bar and chain oil and a pair of gloves.  She gets to wear a walkie talkie, a nifty vest, and a big, tricked-out name tag.

Monday morning Stacey had to go back to work (sniff!) and Savannah had to go to school. leaving me to my own devices.  The sun was shining, which means…more eagles!  They were considerably more cooperative and the lighting was better.  Here are some clean shots of adults.
 


I happened to catch one juvenile challenging another for its perch.


The usurper is a slightly older bird, as you can tell by the greater whiteness of its feathers.
 

Ring-billed gulls like the same things that eagles do–dead fish

I spent the afternoon on firewood detail.  The racks on the north side of the house were empty, providing me with room to begin storing some for next year.  First, I cut up a long log that my neighbor had at his place outside of town.  It was good locust, but a small load, so I stopped at the brush dump and cut out some easily accessible lengths.  Too bad it’s been bulldozed, or there’d be a year’s worth of firewood there alone.  I unloaded what I had, then went up to the Stookeys’, where I had cut quite a bit a couple of months ago.  It made for a very full load.  After unloading, I went back to the riverfront.  The eagles were at least a bit active.  Normally, I sit in the vehicle near a tree that has at least one eagle in it.  When the eagle flies, I shoot.  A couple walked by with their two dogs.  They didn’t spook the eagle I had been babysitting, so I got out of the truck and took some close shots.  He didn’t fly away.

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