Eat Local

Front Yard Cooper's Hawk

Front Yard Cooper’s Hawk

This morning, both Anne and I were leaving for work at about the same time. Before we each jumped into our respective cars and headed out, we stopped to converse for a bit, all the while standing out front on the sidewalk. While we were speaking, we both noticed a steady stream of some sort of stuff that was gently floating down from above. It was falling from our front yard maple tree. At first, I thought that they were leaves or bits of leaves that maybe some squirrel was ejecting from its burrow. It is fall now, but the particles seemed too small to be whole maple leaves and they floated way too slowly to be falling leaves. Then I wondered if the falling particles might be sawdust, like the stream of falling sawdust that is created by a carpenter bee as it chews its way through wood, but what ever it was that was falling, it was too large to be sawdust. We moved closer to investigate this phenomenon and try to figure out what was really coming down.

What we found was a pile of tan and grey feathers scattered across the pavement. Looking up, we saw that more feathers continued to rain down upon us. Then we spied their source, a raptor eating breakfast on a branch. We both tried taking iPhone pictures of this bird, but I knew that that wouldn’t work out too well. So, I went back into the house to get a real camera and took the above photograph. It turns out that the raptor was a Cooper’s hawk. We see them routinely in the neighborhood. They mainly eat birds and must really appreciate all the avid backyard birders in the neighborhood, what with the large number of birdfeeders around. The prey was a Mourning Dove that was likely plucked off the peak of our next door neighbor’s roof. They like to congregate there in the morning and I can regularly hear them cooing.

Obama and O’Biden

In one week, on Wednesday, January 20th, Barack Obama will celebrate his first anniversary as President of these United States.  I’ll let others criticize his first year in office.  Here is a list of a few of his accomplishments, at least as I see it:

  • U.S. and Global economies pulled back from the brink of catastrophe
  • Responsibly winding down the war in Iraq
    • Increasing our focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Prohibited torture and worked to close Guantanamo Bay
  • After eight years, renewed America’s engagement on the world stage
  • Uniting the international community to call on Iran to live up to its obligations
    • Iran is more isolated than ever
  • Passed $787 billion stimulus package
  • Confirmed Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
  • Bailed out the U.S. auto industry
  • Allowed the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco
  • Won Nobel Peace Prize
  • And let us not forget, cover of the best-selling comic book of 2009, Amazing Spider-Man #583, Cool!

Not too shabby a performance, for just a former community organizer.  He still has health care to carry out, but it is so close, you can almost taste it.  Obama also still has three more years to go and maybe another four after that.  Just try to imagine what his promise of change will bring in time.

I offer the following blub by way of equal time.  After all one must stay fair and balanced.  Just as I am sure, Sarah Palin will be as she embarks upon her next career as a FOX News Entertainment commentator.

Last Sunday on Sixty Minutes, former McCain campaign advisor, Steve Schmidt, was interviewed.  It fell to Mr. Schmidt to “prep” McCain’s Vice-Presidential running mate, Sarah Palin for her debate with the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.  Apparently, when he was first called in to help, things were not going too well.  The sole Vice Presidential debate in Saint Louis was just days away.  When he stepped in she was not at all engaged in her debate preparations.  If that wasn’t enough for deep concern, Palin had a reflexive tendency to refer to Biden as “O’Biden,” said Schmidt, something that had to be fixed before the debate.  He said others in the campaign came up with a solution, ‘Just say, Can I call you Joe,’ which she did.  Schmidt said he took over the prepping, simplified it, and said she “held her own” in the debate.  But not without one “O’Biden” slip up on national television.  😈

The picture with this post is of a Cooper’s Hawk.  Anne spotted it on January the third, on our way into Ted Jones State Park, at the Confluence.  Today’s header shows a Boeing 747 sailing overhead, improbably Air Force One.  This photo was taken last Sunday.

OBTW, this my soapbox.  If you have something to say, get your own.