Sunday, March 15, 2015

The rest of the story

As you can imagine, those eagles, from Friday afternoon, stayed on my mind.
I kept wishing I could have taken a few better photos.
When I woke up Saturday morning, 
I was debating whether to drive to Grantsburg to Crex Meadows Wildlife Area for the monthly meeting of the photography club 
or to stay home & enjoy the day in my yard.  
But then it dawned on me that those eagles could be along the way to Crex,
 if I chose it to be, 
so the decision was made and I headed West.

As I got close to 10 Eagle Farm (my words, not the homeowners), I started looking for the eagles.  Accidentally, I drove right past, but just as I realized my error, 
something caught my eye on the other side of the highway.
In a corn field, I could see the heads of about 8 to 10 mature eagles, 
so I found a place to whip-a-louie
and went back to a spot where I could pull off the road safely.

I could only see the heads of the birds over the corn stalks, but it was obvious that they were enjoying some version of road kill delight.
As I watched and clicked away, I saw some interesting behavior.

Some squabbling over the menu I think.

This crow thought he had a reservation at the feast.

But he was mistaken.

Evidently the seating was not agreeable to all.

And there is always one who is late to the party.

Settling into the party.

The Money Shot - My favorite of all that I took.
Bloody talons, I guess there is no etiquette about washing before the meal.

Something got under their wings

Washing up or getting rid of the evidence...

These two might be the hosts of the gathering.
This corn field was less than 1/8 mile from where I had seen the eagles the day before, but don't be fooled, these were not the same eagles I had seen the day before.
I drove back to check where I had been the day before and to my amazement, I saw another 10-12 eagles, bringing my total for the day to somewhere between 20 and 30 eagles.
This area was very busy with eagles too, at least 10 adult and 3 immature were working on this hill.
To say this was an exciting morning is a major understatement for sure.
It was hard to leave and continue on my way to photo club, but other cars were starting to stop to see what I was up to, and I didn't want the eagles to be disturbed, so I motored on, excited to see what images I had captured.
Early Spring is opening up water early too and that gives our wonderful swans a place to land.
I happened to see a couple on a patch of water in a field just West of Frederic and pulled over to snap a few pics.
15T, 22 years and going strong
I could see the number on her neck ring said 15T.
My friend Kathy follows these banded swans and told me that 15T was born in 1993 & hatched at Phantom Lake inside Crex Meadows Wildlife Area.
So, here is a 22 year old tundra swan (local gal) and her mate.

I love seeing these swans return to Northern Wisconsin.
These two are early, but I'm sure more are on the way.
Finally I arrived at the Visitor's Center at Crex.
A few fellow photographers were waiting outside and we said hello.
One woman introduced herself and said she was 'new', so when I said hello New, she pointed out that her name is really Marilyn.  (I crack myself up.) We visited a bit before and after the meeting and then decided to take a drive through Crex and see what we could see.
It's great to have a new friend and her interest in wildlife and photography gives us good common ground.  She gave me a couple of tips regarding a new lens I will consider adding to my gear.

Not much is happening yet around Crex as there is still a lot of ice, very little open water.
We did see a few swans
 and then came upon this swamp area with a very pretty pattern to the grasses.

A little artwork by Mother Nature
I wrapped up my outing with lunch and cheese shopping at the Burnett Dairy.  My egg salad wrap was tasty and a new-to-me brand of cheese, Wood River Creamery, Alpha's Morning Sun with Pesto, turned out to be an excellent choice (in fact I should have bought more).

I decided to ride through Luck on my way home and stopped to see what was happening with Gus & Lois's final move out of their old garage.  I stayed and helped a little bit.  My ankle still can't take too much but at least I showed up for a bit.  They were making really good progress and I think most of the work was finished by end of day on Saturday.

Finally making my way back to Rice Lake with plenty of daylight left, I checked out the eagles only to find that just one remained on the hill side and the corn field was empty.
I'm guessing with so many eagles working on a carcass, it doesn't take long to strip off the meat.
By now they are probably somewhere new with another road kill feast well underway.

I am thrilled with my luck & good timing to get to view this spectacle.
And that is the rest of the story.

The Rest of the Story was a Monday-through-Friday radio program originally hosted by Paul Harvey. Beginning as a part of his newscasts during the Second World War and then premiering as its own series on the ABC Radio Networks on May 10, 1976, The Rest of the Story consisted of stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line "And now you know the rest of the story."


Anonymous said...

I'm almost 63 years old, and I'm still awed when I see an eagle. To see so many, is priceless.

Marilyn said...

It's me "New", the eagle pics are stunning. Enjoyed our short excursion. Hope to see more of you soon!

Melissa Anderson said...

The pictures are AWESOME! I live in AK and never tire of seeing eagles. Marilyn "New" is one of my friends. Wish I had been visiting her and had gotten the opportunity to see what you saw. Melissa A.


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