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  • This is the second year that I have been entranced by the eagles 80 feet up in the cottonwood tree (wagaca in Lakota). Several others in my office wander in to check on the progress of the little birdie family. I was drawn to the nest cam many times during the year just to see the progress of the juveniles after they left the nest last year. It's hard to turn it off so I keep the live stream of the eagle cam running behind all my other work in my office.

    The noises of the wind and the creaking of the tree branches, broken by the chirping of little ones and the squawks of the bigger birds, is soothing sort of like white noise, but more than that. It's a reminder that the life I live is way too artificial and way too mediated. The raptors represent the real cycle of life, not just the snow, spring, hot, falling leaves cycle, but the birth death and struggle for a bit of raw trout to eat cycle. Don't misunderstand me. I'm grateful that when the rain falls, I can tell by the sound of it hitting the compressor on the roof over my office and not because I'm squatting and tucking my babies underneath me to keep them dry. But I have missed something in my life by not experiencing life beyond the screen door.

    Last summer I spent several nights sleeping out in a tipi with the real threat of snakes being in my big square blow up bed from Walmart... I wandered through tall prairie grass and was stunned into love by the velvet touch of a horse's nose (muzzle, snout???). Last month, I fell for the heady aroma of orange blossoms that I only knew about from books like Their Eyes Were Watching God. I have been putting less distance between me and nature and have finally decided to take hold of my new-found senses and get dirty. I bought Peter and me matching fishing rods to take to the water in Western Mass, maybe Maine, or Rhode Island... so many places nearby to toss the line, cast the line? Anyway, in the meantime, I will watch and listen to Mama and Papa Eagle feeding and protecting D12, D13, and D14 - the eaglets. I will continue to read the stories by fellow naturalist cowbirders and live vicariously for a little while longer.
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