Sunday, June 28, 2015

Today I went to Curran’s Apple orchard and picked tart cherries.  I had seen the sign on my way to Rockford last weekend and decided I had to pick cherries to freeze for a cherry pie.  I got there around 9:45 in the morning and asked the lady attending about picking.  She gave me a little bucket with a plastic bag.  She said if I picked it full it was about 5 pounds.  I thought that would do the trick.

I wandered past two beautiful black labs and went on back to the nearest trees.  I decided the first one would do fine.  There was another guy picking next to me using a ladder and a ground cloth.  He picked and dropped them onto the cloth.  We chatted while we picked.  He and his three friends were picking to make cherry wine.  I asked if I could go home with them.  He laughed.

As I picked I imagined that I was almost in heaven.  Of course, my brain worm had to start singing “Country Road, take me home.”  Almost heaven, West Virginia.  Not quite but heaven in Illinois right then and there.

I wandered around the tree picking and smiling to myself.  I love cherries.  My first memory of picking cherries was with my Daddy.  We went to a friend’s house that had a tree in need of picking.  Daddy boosted me into the three and I shook the limbs so the cherries would fall to the ground cloth Daddy had brought with us.

I filled my bucket and went to the desk.  I asked the lady if I brought my camera in could I take some photos.  I explained I had a blog and was going to share my experience of today on the blog and would like some photos.  She agreed that I could take photos.

When I got back from my truck with my wallet and camera the folks who were making wine were checking out.  I asked if I could take their picture and they agreed.  One of the guys told me that one year they had made forty gallons of cherry wine.  Oh my!

I had to take a picture of the dogs.  They were napping.  I took some more snaps of the orchard.  I must go back for apples this fall.

I got home and the hubster decided he had to find out how people pitted cherries on the internet.  I got our antique cherry pitter out but the rubber has rotted and the prongs would not make it through past them.

I grabbed a knife and poked the first cherry and squeezed the pit out.  Deciding I didn’t want to lose the juice, I got a strainer and pitted over the strainer.  The hubster tried a soda straw but wasn’t set that that was the method he wanted to use.  Next he got a paperclip and bent it just so.  He pitted quite a few cherries for me using the paperclip.

We got out the old scale and weighed a pound of cherries as that is what my recipe calls for.  I got four pound bags and one that was a little short.  That would be three pies and two cobblers.  Just right.

Curren’s is on Route 70 near Meridian Road.  The cherries are ripe now and everyone should go out and pick some cherries to put away.  And you can pet the dogs.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

This morning I had a migraine come on during yoga.  I am relaxed and should not have migraines, you ask?  There are blinds on the windows and they let some light in through the little holes.  Bright lights bring on my migraines.  I went downstairs and got an ice cube and tried that method of lying flat on my face and putting the ice cube on the back of my neck.  The dog came in and licked the water dripping on my neck.  She is so cute sometimes.

It didn’t help the migraine but I just lay still for a while until the flashes went away.  Took three Advil and had breakfast.

I worked at the Children’s Garden for an hour.  We had a picnic and I took some of my pea pods from the garden to share.  I taught Allison about removing the seeds on top of the basil plants.  I taught two little ones how to dig dandelions.  We planted some onion sets too and I taught a boy and girl how to tell which end went into the soil.  We had twelve children today.

Afterwards I took a shower and ventured to Shannon, Il to a baby shower for my friends’ daughter.  I got lost and had to call them for directions. They have a beautifully restored old house in the country and it is just gorgeous.  They served quiche, muffins and fruit for brunch.  It was a lovely shower.

I got to spend some time with my friend, Barb.  We drove to German Valley and had cocktails.  It was nice catching up on all her news.  She loves her new job and is so happy.  I miss her but am glad she has a job and home that she loves.  We made plans to have dinner one Saturday evening in the near future.

Friday, June 26, 2015

This morning I traipsed around the house with a dustpan and broom picking up stupid earwigs.  Where in the heck are they coming from?  I swept up eleven of the things and there was a dead one floating in the toilet.

I’m seriously concerned that this is a conspiracy.  The insect overtake of the Earth has begun.  First it was those little box elder bugs that were everywhere about ten years ago.  Then it was Japanese beetles and now earwigs.

I keep a little mushroom jar in my garden and every day I go from plant to plant and pick off Japanese beetles.  Then I leave them shut up and in the sun to die a slow and painful death.  (I am so not a Buddhist.)

The earwigs have invaded the mailbox as well.  I hope they are hot in there.  I wonder if they read my mail?

Can you eat these things?  Perhaps we could buffalo them and start a new eating craze.  They eat crickets in Mexican and the hubster thought them pretty tasty.

Or, I know, I know, let’s make costume jewelry with their pretty little bodies.  Japanese beetles hanging from my ears.  Or one large one made from thousands of tiny dead beetles hanging from a pendant at my throat.  No earwig jewelry for me.  I hate those little pincers.  They can hurt!

When I bring in my fresh lettuce from the garden there are always one or two earwigs in the pickings.  I get great pleasure when I whirl them in my Oxo salad spinner just imagining them dizzy as all get out.  Love it when I am shaking out the lettuce and one falls into the sink only for me to wash it down the drain and turn on the garbage disposal.

I don’t believe in poisoning the Earth but I am not afraid of squashing a bug.  I wonder what my karma will do to me in my next life?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Pantry from Hades

Today’s retirement adventure was cleaning the pantry.  I have always wanted a large pantry and when we built our house 30 years ago I got my pantry.  It seems to have a soul and accumulates stuff that I didn’t believe I had.

I cleaned out canning jars of food that had no date on them.  There was such icky stuff that I almost puked.  The jar of pickled beets that I am sure were from my mom’s pantry were black.  I’m sure they were filled with botulism. Why do people give me bread and butter pickles?  I hate them.  I found grape juice that I had canned many, many years ago alongside grape jelly that I also don’t eat.  Some spaghetti sauce that looked okay but didn’t have a date went also.  The pickled corn from my sweet Aunt went down the garbage disposal also.  Boo!  I have to run the dish washer just for canning jars.

We had a tamale making party a couple of years ago and I found 3 huge bags of corn husks that I am taking to my local grocery store where this very nice Mexican lady makes tamale.  I’m sure she will use them.

I came across 3 coffee containers.  The first had a five pound bag of sugar in it which I needed.  The next had the leftover rice that I tucked into my rice container and got rid of that huge bag.  The last one was empty.  Taking up space in my pantry, no you won’t!

I found a handful of dog food which I gave the dog that was staying out of my way, bless her heart.  I also found half a milk bone which I gave her later for being good.

I uncovered my tool box so I could get into it again.  Next to it is the pencil sharpener that I had in childhood and which I still use when I can get to it.

I organized our tea which I buy through Amazon because we go through so much of it.  Next to that I found a box of 100 popcorn which I had purchased through the Boy Scouts of America because it is the BEST popcorn.  It was half empty so I put the hubster’s Earl Gray in the other side of the box.

I discovered two white globes for lamps that we do not use any longer but have two just like it in the hubster’s bathroom and we can replace if they get broken.
My old juicer went into a high corner because I don’t use it any longer.  Anyone need a juicer?

I came across a dozen or more bottles of hot sauce of various kinds that the hubster used to collect.  Why do we keep this stuff when we don’t eat it?

I am now just taking a break before I mop the floor and let it dry to put away the stuff on the floor.  Dog food bin, wok, box of paper bags just in case I need them and large bowls and baskets to gather beans and peas go on the floor also.

I am so very proud of myself.  I will take an after photo.  Not a before photo though because I am so ashamed of myself for letting it get taken over by Satan.

Now I’m sure the hubster wishes I would clean the house too!

Monday, June 22, 2015

The raspberries are starting to come in.  I got the plants from Grandma Faerber's patch many years ago and have given tons of plants to others since.  I wrote this poem for her when she was in the nursing home.  Isn't this a great picture of her when she was young?

For Grandma Faerber

She sits in her little room all alone.
They’ve sold her possessions, sold her home.
She hates them sometimes, thinks they don’t care.
Likes to know someone remembers she’s there.
Take her hand, try to ease her pain.
Give her a smile if only for a little while.
Can’t see to sew or watch TV.
Can’t hear, so there’s no conversation over tea.
No listening to music, no card games,
Day in, day out, it’s all the same.
Give her a hug, try to ease her pain.
Give her a smile if only for a little while.
A card from a friend is good for a day.
Then she begins to resent it.  They’re far away
They don’t understand, they’re not alone.
They have their lives, they have their home.
No dreams to come true.  That’s all in the past.
No adventures to have.  Her strength wouldn’t last.
She has to bear this life all alone.
She misses her husband.  She misses her home.
Take her hand try to ease her pain.
Give her a smile if only for a little while.
She likes to have you sitting there.
They like to know someone remembers they’re there.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Shirlee lived alone on a cul-de-sac in a small town in Wisconsin.  She was an avid gardener and in the twelve years she had lived in the cottage, she had transformed her back yard into a Garden of Eden. Foxglove, larkspur, ferns, lilacs and many more plants littered her garden.  She even had a little ceramic deer posed in one corner.  His name was Nine.

Each year Shirlee would take a section of her yard and work on it to make it into a separate space with a different theme.  This year she had decided to create a symphony of music and was placing wind chimes in various locations.

A large copper bass wind chime went furthest away from the cottage.  She didn’t want it to overwhelm.  A friend had given her a homemade wind chime and she place that outside of her kitchen window so she could see it when she did her dishes.

Shirlee collected wind chimes the entire summer and as August came around the air was filled with the most beautiful chiming concerto.

Sometimes after dinner, Shirlee would sit in the garden by the waterfall koi pond and drink a glass of red wine.  She would close her eyes and listen to the symphony of wind chimes and imagine herself in Paris with a lover.  She could almost feel him stroke her cheek.

Eyes wide open; Shirlee knew that would never happen in her life time.  Her love of life had already occurred and had vanished.  He had vanished with the war and was never to be heard from again.

The small town never changed.  It was a constant village.  Nothing happened out of the ordinary and nothing ever would.  However, the town had a school and that school lost its music director of thirty years to cancer.  They needed a new music director.  Enter into this picture, a mature man of forty years of age.  His name was Keith and he was blind.  Keith was a marvelous musician and a wonderful teacher.

He applied to the school by mail and the school decided to interview him for the job. Keith was accompanied by his service dog, Maynard. They were taken aback when they discovered Keith to be blind.  But Keith surprised them at how independent he actually was with Maynard’s help.

Keith was hired and he was moved into the cottage next door to Shirlee’s and directly behind Shirlee’s Wind Garden.

Shirlee had heard about the music director’s death and had even gone to the wake.  She didn’t really know the man, just to wave when they were both outside.  She was curious about the man who would take his place.

Keith was actually very shy about meeting new adults.  He took to children and his high school young adults but would shy away from the other teachers and administrators.  Keith’s students grew to love and respect him.

Keith had planned to write a symphony and enter it into a contest that was being held in the state for music directors. Each evening after dinner Keith would sit at his piano and write and play.  One evening there came such a massive thunderstorm.  Keith left his window open just a tad to allow for fresh air.  The Wind Garden next door erupted into such a cacophony that it inspired Keith’s music that night.  After the storm the Wind Garden quieted but continued in its magical givings.

It being a Friday night, Keith found himself to have been awake all night long.  He wrote and completed the symphony in that one evening.

Keith won the music competition with his symphony, The Wind Garden Serenade.  There was a big write-up in the local newspaper and Shirlee read about the serenade dedicated to her wind garden.  She baked blue berry muffins that day and went calling on the cottage behind her house.

Maynard was barking as the door of the cottage opened.  Shirlee introduced herself to Keith and they sat down to talk.  It seemed as if they have been friends for many years.  They were so comfortable with each other.  Shirlee was surprised at how easily Keith got around and took care of himself.  Maynard was a joy.

Keith took Shirlee’s hands into his and thanked her for the Wind Garden for it had been his inspiration and he had written the winning symphony.  He was so grateful.

Years later Keith and Shirlee would reiterate the story of how they met and fell in love to their grandchildren.  They were happily married for over fifty years thanks to the Wind Garden.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Battle of the Weeds

I think it was last Thursday since I had been in my garden to weed.  It has been raining every day since then.  With all that rain the weeds have gone amok.  However, I noticed right away that my tomatoes had too.  Even my little heirloom tomatoes that a couple of people gave me are growing nicely.

Of course I took before and after photos.  I began on the right side and worked my way left since that was where I left off last Thursday.  My favorite weeds to pull are those little fluffy ones that fan out.  I just grab them and twist and out they come.  Love that sound of weeds dying.  (I am so not a Buddhist.)

I couldn’t believe how much Purslane had grown in such a few days.  I learned a few years back that you can eat the stuff.  Of course, when I tried to cultivate it, it didn’t grow worth a darn. It has some kind of fatty acids that are extremely good for you.  I ate some, dirt and all, while I killed it.

I pulled a few milkweed out of the garden itself.  I let the ones in the raspberry patch grow for my monarchs.  They are gonna love me this summer.  I grow killer milkweed.

Jessie dog decided she needed to be outside near her mom, and so she was barking at the mowers in the lot next door.  She finally shut up but I noticed she was eating the Alpaca poop again and stopped to put her inside.

I started thinking that I should hire one of those homeless guys who will work for food.  I surely have a bunch of food in my garden that I would share for some weeding hands.

I was finally settling into my weeding Zen when another guy started mowing in the neighborhood.  I took another break and went for my iPod.  I was surprised with Metallica and Enter Sandman.  I was really getting on my Weed Warrior thang.

The weeds that really annoy me are the ones that grow right next to my little onions.  You have to get in close and try not to dislodge the onion.  Quack weed is the worst for this as they have very long roots and if you get a hold of a good one it strings out forever.  I persevered.  Victory was at hand.

I took another little break to drink some water and recharge the iPod.  IPod, I do love you so much.  You play all my favorite songs.  I had Steely Dan, Yes, Sting, Jimmie Buffet, and I was in weeding heaven.

I had taken off my sunglasses to wipe the sweat from my forehead and looked up into the sun.  Damnation!  I was getting a migraine.  I decided to tough it out and as the sparkling got worse and worse I knew I had to go inside.  I took three Advil and went and sat in the spare bathroom that doesn’t have a window.  I sat for several minutes with a cold wash cloth on the back of my neck.  Sure enough, it helped.  I had made it through a migraine in less than 15 minutes.  They are usually much longer.

Sparkles gone from my eyes I donned the iPod and went back to it.  I was hoping that Metallica wouldn’t blast me away.  The Evenly Brothers came on and lolled me into serenity.  Thanks, I needed that.  I enjoyed a couple of Over the Rhine songs and then did start singing to an Eagles song that I love.  (Yes, I do sing in my garden.)  When a good song comes on I just pop one ear bud and sing right along.  To heck with the neighbors, they are mowing anyhow.

I made it out to the strawberry patch and began weeding and picking strawberries.  It has rained so much and I hadn’t picked in several days.  The strawberries were almost all ruined.  Some had insect or slug bites out of them and others were rotting on the vine.  I kept thinking that I was smelling beer and realized that it was the rotting fruit fermenting.  Yuck!  I buried them under some flowers.

The kind hubster brought me a jug of cold iced water.  How thoughtful of him.  I took another break and pulled weeds from the raspberry patch.  There were honeybees and other kinds of bees just swarming all over them.  I had to be careful since I am allergic to bee stings.
A little bird came by and gave me heck for being in the berry patch.  He was probably looking for a treat. 

The herb garden was next and I made it through that in no time at all.  I had to trim the golden oregano from the border.  I grew it many years ago but discovered that it is quite invasive.  My yard all around the herb garden is entirely golden oregano.  When it is mowed it smells divine.

Daddy’s garden was next and I trimmed away more of the day lilies so you can see the garden.  I got rid of all weeds and trimmed the edge.  It is looking pretty nice.  I got the weeds out of the day lilies and was pretty satisfied with myself.

The hubster came out and said I should think of quitting for the day since I was looking quite red.  I had put on number 15 sunscreen but thought maybe five hours in the sun might be enough.  Anyhow, I wanted to blog.

Final photo taken I went in for my shower.

I put down some new weed barrier on that right row.  Barrier, weeds, barrier!  Show some respect!  I barrier my paths because the weeds are under control in my rows.

My Weed Warrior battle was done for the day and I was pretty satisfied that the score was now, Woehema, 1, weeds, 0.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It has been raining now for almost a week.  I look out at my garden and cannot believe the weeds that are growing out there.  I just worked two days straight to get rid of them!  I know that the weather and gardening affect my mood.  I am a grouch today and I really don’t care.  Since it is raining I am staying inside and reading my book for my Gardening Book Club meeting coming up this Thursday.

The book is The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman and if you haven’t read it, you should.  It is so very entertaining.  Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors anyhow but she really outdid herself with this book.

I am going to stay in my jammies all day and I am going to read voraciously.  Take that rain!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

When I was taking my Master Gardening classes I met the most interesting lady whose name is Marcy.  It seems as though Marcy has alpacas on her farm and was offering anyone pakka poo.  (Manure, for those who aren’t familiar.)  I went down in early spring and got a 5 gallon bucket full and found it to be quite impressive manure.

I scatter the poo in my garden, onto my free standing compost pile and into my compost tumbler.  It is true what they say about pakka poo.  It can be put directly onto the plants and not burn them.  The pooh in the tumbler is keeping the compost consistent because of its little orb shape.  Sometimes cow or horse patties make the compost clumpy.

I made manure tea for my little planties.  I put some manure balls into an old panty hose leg and tied it into one of my watering cans.  I filled it with rain water from my rain barrel and let it set overnight.  The next day I dose my little planties with the manure tea.  My garden is looking pretty good.

And so I am talking to girlfriend, Nancy, and she wants to get some pakka poo for her garden.  She came over yesterday around 11 and we visited and caught up for a little while and then proceeded to Marcy’s farm near German Valley.  I hadn’t seen Nancy for a while and we talked and laughed on the way.  It is so good to see a friend and be right there as if you’d never been apart.  She once lived right across the street from me and we were together every day.  I miss her.

We got to Marcy’s and rang the doorbell but no one answered.   We saw a tractor in the distant field and waved to him but as we were walking toward him we saw Marcy in the lot next door.  We walked over to the lot and discovered that Marcy and her hubby had just transferred the alpacas to a new pasture.  It was knee deep and more of lovely weeds, dandelions and thistles.  The alpacas were in their garden of “eat in”.

Nancy has a huge sign at her garden at home which says, Garden of Eat In.

Marcy introduced us to the pack of alpacas (I looked up to see what a group were called and one humorously called them a “spittoon”.)  They are actually a herd.  The oldest lady is the leader of the pack.  And then her daughter and then her granddaughter and so forth from eldest to youngest.  The youngest was a little boy alpaca and was dark brown/black.  He was so cute.  They have the cutest little faces.

Nancy and I loaded up our bucket with pakka poo.  We chatted with Marcy who is just a soul.  Marcy showed us around her yard and gardens and we discovered she had used the pakka poo everywhere.  My shrubs are gonna love me.

Off we went to head back home.  But on the way we saw a nice little junk store in Rock City and had to stop.  This shop is in a barn and they have so many memories in there.  Old quilts, dishes, farm implements, and just anything old you can think of.

Next we stopped at Megz Country Store in Davis and Nancy got some bleu cheese and aged swiss.  If you haven’t tried the cheese store, you really should.  To heck with Kraft and those other brands in the store.  Buy local!  And that includes cheese.

We headed back to old Lake Summerset and I wanted Nancy to see Rachel’s Garden.  Rachel is a marvelous gardener and creates these arch structures out of dead tree limbs.  Her garden is truly a treat.  Nancy lives on property that has a LOT of dead trees and forest all around.  She is determined to build one of these structures.  She even gave me the idea of building a tiny one for my fairy garden.

Next stop, Marian’s.  Marian is this unique Polelander (Polack) friend of ours.  He had invited us to stop by for a beer.  We stopped by and Nancy had two, I had one.  We visited with some old friends and new ones too.  The sun was getting really hot and Nancy’s face was burning.  (She is truly a white girl.)

We got to my house and unloaded the pakka poo.  We had such a wonderful time together.  It don’t take much for simple folks.

The hubster and I were invited to Nancy’s for a bonfire and cookout.  We arrived and Nancy’s hubster, Mike, had built a huge fire teepee.  We laughed and talked and caught up with each other.  We watched the chickens and the duck, Aflack, waddle around the yard and Nancy gave me a tour of her yard.  I told her about that wonderful ap you can get for your smart phone that identifies plants for you.  (I want one so bad!!!)

We ended the night with a campfire and solar lights all around the yard.  They had steaks on the grill and I had brought a big ass salad and stuffed spinach leaves that I had leftover the night before.  (My spinach leaves are bigger than my hand.)

It was good to get out and enjoy the night with friends, a fire and good food.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

On Tuesday, girlfriends, Garnet and Charyl, and I went kayaking at Rock Cut State Park in Rockford, IL.  We had gone last year and after we had to force Garnet into the thing and out in the water, she just fell in love with kayaking.  She and Charyl both now own their own kayaks.  I rented one for two hours.

Off we went into the great outdoors on water.  If you have never gone kayaking, you really should do it at least once.  It is such a wonderful feel to be on the water in this vessel that moves with you.  You must be careful not to make any quick moves or you can turn over easily.

We decided to row toward the distant shore to this orange thing that we spotted.  About halfway they had to stop to take a break.  We admired the beauty of the trees and their shadows and all the wonderful birds we were seeing.  Must be bird week for me, huh?

There were the loveliest blue herons all around.  They would take off and fly over the lake to the next good looking spot to pose for us.  Garnet made up her mind that she would get closer to the heron.  Sure enough as soon as she got close the heron buzzed her, squawking like a goose.  I was sure it was going to skim her head but it missed.  She said later it had not really come near her, it was just from my perspective that I thought the bird buzzed her.

As we neared the target shoreline we realized that the orange thing we had seen was on a fishing boat and we changed our target.  We came around a little bend and there was the cutest little box turtle on a log that was sticking out of the water.  Charyl shot a couple of pictures of him with her iPhone.  Then she shot one of another heron nearby
Out in the middle of the lake we decided to flotilla.  Charyl was in the middle so she held on to us until we got settled and then we just hung out in the middle of the lake being as happy as old girlfriends could be.

Charyl is big on stories and so we each told a story.  Her subject was “when you thought you might die”, don’t ask me why.  I told them of my car accident, Garnet told of one of her car accidents and Charyl told us about the night she woke up and thought she was having a heart attack.  Where does she come up with these subjects?

While we were in our flotilla formation, several goose families came swimming across the lake.  I counted 27 babies and 8 adults in the group.  Charyl had to make a movie with her iPhone (gosh, I gotta get one of those).  We stayed still and watched the geese cross the lake and go up to the shoreline.  One male stayed behind until everyone was out of the water and then joined them.

We made our way back across the water dodging fishermen, a pontoon, other kayakers and a group of young women who were squealing with delight.

After getting out of the water and returning the kayak, I changed my clothes to something more appropriate for lunch at J M K Nippon where we had a lovely lunch and a beer.

Garnet was quite taken with the camouflage boulder in front of J M K Nippon.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting Hoo Haven in Durand, IL.  Those of you not familiar with Hoo Haven need to know that it is an animal sanctuary and hospital and an educational center.  When I was at Shirland School we had them come in a couple of times and bring animals and talk to the children about big birds.

My neighbor, Merritt, invited me to go visit with him.  We are considering building a vegetable garden at the facility.  This would be my Master Gardener project and his Master Environmentalist project.

It was a cool morning and I was glad I had dressed appropriately.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have pockets to put my hands into and they got a bit cold.

I was surprised at how large the facility was.  They have several buildings and barns and a gazebo where you can buy souvenirs and get brochure information.

The first building we came to housed a large owl.  I didn’t see it at first and the boy pulling dandelions next to the building pointed him out for me.  I asked the boy why he was pulling dandelions and he told me that the ducks and geese really liked eating them.  (Perhaps, I’ll adopt a goose for my yard.)

We then went into the main building which is the Hospital and Aquatic Pen.  The smell was overwhelming.  There was a man cutting up raw meat.  There were sick animals and poop was everywhere.  Not a good first impression.  I am allergic to birds and had taken my allergy medicine.  I am not a light stomach person but I had to get out of there.

Our project for this morning was to put up new signs with the individual bird’s name and educational information regarding who they were and what they were.  Merritt had put together new signs.  We got some zip ties and proceeded on our way.

We met Karen, who is in charge of the volunteers, and she was doing a great job of keeping Merritt on task.  We also met the OBGYN who takes care of the birds and trains the birds.  Her name escapes me.  She has been working with the birds for six years.  She really had a way with the creatures.

We met two young female volunteers who were sweeping pens and feeding and watering the birds.  They were very comfortable with the birds and had been volunteering for several years.

We visited a cayote building that housed a blue heron that had come to them last week.  It had a huge fish hook lodged in his throat and the surgery cut him down the length of his long neck.  They didn't expect him to survive but there he was walking around his temporary home and even leaping as if to fly on occasion.

The eagle house really made a huge impression on me.  I stood not six feet away from a massive bald eagle.  We had to view him through a glass window so my photo is not the best but you get the idea.  There were several more eagles in the area and quite a number of turkey vultures who if you don't know are uglyassed birds.

I was just totally impressed with the volunteers that I met.  I admire them all for the undertaking of such an enormous project.  They get no government funding and all that they get is from volunteers and donations.  Birds come to them from around the country and Canada.  I feel inspired to do something more for them than just making a vegetable garden.

If you can, please consider volunteering, donating a few bucks or even taking them your freezer full of meat when it dies for no apparent reason.  Call and arrange a tour of their facility sometime.  Take a couple of teenagers with you who need some direction.  Caring for and feeding a bald eagle has to leave a lasting impression.