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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Birds of a Feather (?)

     From time to time I have posted pictures of the American Bald Eagles that we are so fortunate to have as neighbors. I think I have also posted at least one of the blue herons which make good use of the large retention pond in our backyard. This morning the two species were almost on top of one another. It reminded me of The Odd Couple, or for you old farts, Mutt and Jeff. The eagle had apparently snared a fish and was eating it on the bank. The heron was tip-toeing nearby like a hyena at a lion kill.

     That looks like a fish tail under the eagle's left foot, but there is blood on his beak so I am not absolutely certain what he has there. I can't imagine that the heron would dare to leave the slightest impression that the eagle's breakfast might be in danger.

     In the local demographic of feathered fish eaters the eagle has to be the unchallenged alpha dog, so it was very surprising that the eagle never made a motion to scare the heron away. I'm curious if the birders out there have seen similar encounters.

     Thursday evening was the "Founder's Day" celebration. It commemorated the 215th anniversary of the founding of the military academy at West Point. These events follow most of the same agenda wherever and whenever they are held. There are a number of traditional toasts, a guest speaker, and brief talks by the oldest (I'm starting to get close.) and youngest grads present. Typically the dress is formal. Last year I suggested strongly to the president of the local chapter that he would double the attendance without sacrificing any of the agenda if the affair were not formal. He did and he did. Little did I know that he would go whole hog. We had 90 people at Alhambra Hall in the old town section of Mt. Pleasant on the edge of Charleston Harbor for a pig roast! It was good, but it couldn't match the one we had last summer on the edge of Penobscot Bay.

     There's no real news on the medical front(s). I'm still doing a lot of physical therapy, but the problems are so embedded in the neuropathy, that progress is hard to see. Durelle is finally going to get a lumbar MRI Tuesday. The cortisone shot worked like magic and is still working. The X-rays showed some sites where the vertebra spacing indicated the potential for trouble, but only an MRI will tell for sure.
     This week, while New England was seeing a couple of feet of blowing snow, we had 28 degrees and frost on the lawn. That is NOT a complaint you just heard.
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