Video: Male Eagle Returns To Nest After Eaglets Removed, Female Eagle Killed

There is no way not to cry over this video.  I will just leave it at that.   The male eagle had brought a fish back to help feed the eaglets.  He is standing on it in the nest.  Though this video does not show it he will carry the fish out of the nest and fly away.

For the past weeks these eagles have been a part of this blog.  From the laying of an egg, to three eggs, the hatching, to the feedings, and banding….these little guys and their parents have brought lots of joy to this blog.

On Tuesday the mother eagle was killed by a jet.

On Wednesday the three eaglets were removed for the best interests of the young ones, as well as the stress level of the adult male.  The amount of food that would be required as the eaglets increased in size, the hunting involved to match the caloric intake required for growth, and the protection that the eaglets would require all would have added a great amount of stress for the surviving parent.

Today the male eagle returns to the nest and must have wondered what made the world turn upside down.

There is just no way not to cry.

Video And Pictures Of Eaglets Being Rescued From Nest Following Death Of Mother Eagle

It was decided for the best long-term interests of the three young eaglets that they be taken from the nest and cared for in a special place until they are old enough to be released as adults.   The mother eagle was killed by a jet on Tuesday. Part of the emotional process looked like this today.

The images on Wednesday at Norfolk Botanical Garden were sad — a lone male eagle soaring over an empty nest, three women laying flowers at the base of the tree that held the nest, and the eaglets being removed one by one and taken to the Virginia Wildlife Center in Waynesboro, Virginia.

 The young eaglets were brought to the wildlife center and then examined.

Letter From Home: In Memory Of Uncle Dale Allen

From George Burns and Gracie Allen to Ozzie and Harriet.  From my Grandpa and Grandma, Herman and Anna Schwarz, to my Mom and Dad, and to Dale and Lorene Allen.  Over time, I have come to think of and speak these inseparable pairs of names almost out of second nature.  Each of these couples’ names evokes the one with the other, almost a habit.  Each has become synonymous with what, to me, true love and caring relationships represent.

Dale and Lorene. 

All my life, my mom’s sister and her husband have been at family reunions and weddings.  They have participated in the laugher, and also shared in the sorrow along life’s way.  When one was in the house, the other was not far away.

One half of that team lost a brave fight to cancer late Tuesday afternoon when Uncle Dale passed away at his Waunakee home.  As Dale waged that final battle over the course of  the winter, he could not have found a better partner and friend than his faithful Lorene.  Dale remained at home, and comforted.  Day or night, the one who had stood by his side over the decades was never more than a few feet away.  And yet, the togetherness that this couple shared will not be lost to time.  Some bonds in life are so strong that death cannot tear them apart.

My early memories of Uncle Dale paint him as a genial taxi cab service for the three cousins who would come to visit at Grandma’s house.  When my grandparents still had the old farmstead in Hancock, just across the road from where I grew up, there was a week every summer when all the cousins from all over would visit.  We would play in the woods, and though we weren’t supposed to, we would sometimes run in Grandpa’s corn rows and fields.  We would laugh, share stories and play countless croquet games.

In those early years of my memory I did not know Dale as well since he always talked with the other family members his age while visiting.  There was, however, one way that he always made his presence known to me when I was young.

At the annual family reunions, I could be talking with a cousin or an aunt and uncle when I would sense a little yank from behind. Dale would always sneak up behind me and pull on my belt loop.  Tug.  Tug.  Tug.  When I turned, he would greet me with a smile. 

As I grew older Uncle Dale was special too in that he would always converse with me on interesting topics of the day.  While others sometimes spoke only of casual banter or the weather, Dale took an interest in what I was currently engaged.  I knew we had both reached the middle of the road when in later years we started sharing stories about the woes we experienced with our cable TV companies! 

The relationship I shared with Dale grew and evolved over the years.  I began to understand Uncle Dale in a new light, and I am sure that he felt the same about me as an adult nephew with a partner of my own.  About two years ago, in fact, I was witness in the home of Dale and Lorene to one of those moments that one might find in a Hallmark movie.  Better yet, if a snapshot had been taken that evening it might have made for a Saturday Evening Post cover.

From the basement of their home, Lorene brought up the old Victrola that had once belonged to her grandmother Bertha.  Dale carefully placed it on the kitchen counter.  A pile of old 78’s were piled alongside while some effort was made to wind up the old machine and again hear music from its one speaker.  With some gentle touches and a dose of luck, the Wabash Trio’s Turkey in the Straw filled the room from the old stylus needle and turntable.  Everyone’s face showed the joy of the moment.

It was then that Lorene, standing close to Dale said “Come on, Daddy, let’s dance.”  All the years that they had spent together seemingly spun backwards all of a sudden.   They appeared like a new couple, just dating.  Since Dale’s hip was still not fully healed from a fall, he declined any fancy dance steps he might have once taken but swayed gently for a moment with the music, holding in his arms the one he had danced life with for many a decade.

Most will never know about this decades’ long love story which began sometime before their wedding in Plover on December 14, 1957.  Nor will a majority of us ever know about the family they raised.  And sadly few will ever hear of the brave journey my Uncle Dale and Aunt Lorene took together these past weeks–one needing to let go for now, and the other holding on tight.  These types of stories are taking place every day all over the world.  It is one thing to know about them, but it is another to see them happen.  I have been a grateful observer.

I have been an appreciative reader of this half-century love story as if it were a best-selling novel.  The ‘Dale and Lorene Story’ isn’t finished, and the last pages of this chapter will not be about death.  Instead, the pages will be about the strength of love and the resolve of family.  They will illustrate both our physical frailty, along with the mental and emotional strength we need to see the way through the storm. The story will demonstrate how we do what the moment requires sometimes, despite the pain.  Yes, the last pages of this chapter will be about a brave face upstairs and the shedding of tears downstairs where no one can see.  This story helps us understand that there is nothing more difficult than to be in the midst of a tempest, have no control over the winds, and be forced to ride it out.

When it comes time to write notes and cards over the coming months and years I think we will all stop and hesitate, much like we do when we all start a new year and almost write the old one on the checks.  We will hold our pen over the paper for a moment and then just add one of their names to the envelope.  But in our mind, and in our hearts, we will always know that when there is the one name, there is really two.

Uncle Dale leaves to celebrate and honor his life his three sons and their families:  Brian and Ruth Allen; Lowell and Lucy Allen and their four children, Hailey, Grant, Perry and Cole; and Todd and Jenny Allen and their three children, Max, Paige, and Gus.

For all of us, Dale’s extended family, there will always be a “Dale and Lorene”.  Thank you, Dale, for being a loyal and faithful friend to so many; we are all richer for having known you.

Waukesha County’s Recount For Supreme Court Starts Off With A Snag

Who could have predicted problems in the recount would occur in Waukesha County?  What is wrong with those folks?

After more than a half-hour of meticulous instructions and ground rules relayed by Waukesha County’s chief canvasser, retired Judge Robert G. Mawdsley, questions were raised about the very first bag of ballots to be counted, from the Town of Brookfield.

As canvassers and tabulators compared a numbered seal on a bag with the number recorded for that bag by a town election inspector who prepared the paperwork on election night, the numbers didn’t match.

“What a great way to start,” one official tabulator said.

Observers from the campaigns of Justice David Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg both agreed, however, that the error seemed to be in the inspector’s use of a “2” instead of a “3.” Numbers on the sealing tag and on the bag did match. Both sides and the Board of Canvassers agreed that the bag should be opened and the votes counted.

In addition to the mis-numbered inspection sheet, another matter was the absence of three applications for absentee ballots – detected when all the “R’s” of an alphabetized collection were missing. The applications were summoned from the town hall, and they were reconciled with the absentee ballots, Mawdsley said.

The final question of the morning involved a missing “remade” ballot – a copy of an original absentee ballot that could not be fed through the ballot-reading machines. That occurs, for example, if the voter used pen instead of pencil to connect the arrows on the ballot. The canvass board had five original ballots that could not be fed through machines, but only four copies. The Government Accountability Board was being asked for advice on that matter.

Republicans Create ‘Birther’ Issue, Then Blast Obama For Responding

I swear to God, no one could make this stuff up.

First conservative Republicans create a racist argument about the place of birth for President Obama.  Then when the President wants to stop the blather by releasing his long-form birth certificate the Republicans complain that he is wasting time talking about it.

Really….this is just unbelievable.

A statement after Obama spoke, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the issue a distraction — and yet blamed Obama for playing campaign politics by addressing it.

“The president ought to spend his time getting serious about repairing our economy,” Priebus said. “Unfortunately his campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our number one priority — our economy.”


Conservative ‘Birther’ Issue Is All About Racism

There will be those who will try to deny it, refute it, and be aghast that anyone would think such a thing.  But let’s be clear about one thing.

Those who blather on and on about President Obama and his birth certificate are doing so for one reason.  And one reason only.  They are racist and can not get over the fact that a black man is President of the United States and making decisions for this nation.

There is no…..repeat NO…rational way to evaluate the statements and attacks on President Obama regarding his birth certificate than to label it for what it is.


While I understand from a political perspective why the White House released President Obama’s 1961 birth certificate from the state of Hawaii, I am fundamentally opposed to the move.  Let’s be honest, there is nothing that will change the ‘birthers’ opinion due to the fact it is not based in logic, but instead is laced with only pure racism.  It is only a matter of hours before the wing-nuts start on something new regarding this issue.  That is the way a racist operates.

The whole idea of bringing up a black man’s birth certificate in the manner that the ‘birthers’ have done is only to make President Obama appear to be ‘foreign’.  It is to somehow make others think that we did not really elect a black man to lead this nation.  Even a half-wit can see the absence of fact and commonsense to the ‘birthers’.

The fact is America did elect a black man President of the United States.  I might add President Obama was elected by a very healthy margin.

I opposed the White House even entertaining the idea of releasing the long-form birth certificate, much less actually doing it, because the out-and-out craziness of the far-right in this country should not gain anything from their actions.

It is an insult to my intelligence, and that of my readers to allow for the insanity of the ‘birthers’  to have any recognition.  To pretend that the clap-trap that gets regurgitated on conservative talk  radio, and then spewed without any regard for seriousness or accuracy on FAUX News has any legitimacy is an insult to those of us who do  get enough oxygen to our brains.

The idea that some conservative wing-nuts can make any outlandish statement that pops into their heads, and then expect rational conversation about it is maddening.  There should be no quarters for idiots and those who only wish to foment controversy.

The ‘birthers’ created a controversy based on pure racism, and then were invited on television shows to defend their lunacy as if somehow what they claim was relevant.  Given the ‘birthers’  level of intelligence the next debate will be about if the sky looks blue.  Should we entertain that crap too?

Given that many people conducting interviews on TV are not trained in dealing with bat-shit crazy people, as the conservative birthers are, the end result is an audience that often thinks two sane people were just having a logical conversation.  

At the end of the day it must drive racists completely nuts to know they have a Commander-In-Chief who is black, and all they can do about it is try to attack his place of birth.

How does it feel to be so impotent?

Baby Eaglets Removed From Nest After Mother Eagle Killed by Jet

Yesterday the mother eagle that is part of the eagle cam located on the right-hand side of this blog was killed by a jet.

This morning park staff  made a decision on how to handle the three babies in the nest.  The eaglets were removed from the nest this morning by park staff. 

All eaglets on the ground and are in the Car. Steve Living will be driving them to WCV.

One option discussed was to leave them and see if the father could continue to raise them alone. It is possible he could, but it is also very possible he could not continue to provide enough food as they grow and need a higher calorie count. There was a concern it would reach a point of no return and it would be difficult to remove the eaglets. It would present the problem of being too late to remove them for their survival. There is a reason it takes two parents to raise the eaglets.

Another option would be to try to foster them out to other nests. That would require finding three nests with eaglets at the exact right age. There is also the concern the foster parents may reject these eaglets.

The final option was to take the to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, where they will be cared for until they are old enough to take care of themsleves and be released to the wild

We all want what is best for the male. We have to remember that it would be a long time stress for him to raise and train all three eaglets on his own. Although this is very sad now and our hearts are breaking, he can now mourn and go on with his life, feeding himself, staying healthy so he can eventually begin searching for another mate.

We really have no way of knowing what the male will do at this time. I expect he will return to the nest at times and eventually will carry on. He will eventually seek out a new mate – as the female did when she lost her previous mate.