Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July to all my Americans friends out there. Up here north of the 49th parallel we celebrated Canada Day on July 1st, but the weather's been cool and gray so it doesn't feel like summer yet. As you know, my mother-in-law passed away a week ago. My hubby's been swamped taking care of all the details for her elaborate funeral service, so last night we went on a date. It was a much needed break for both of us, and we had a nice dinner at an Irish restaurant on the beach. I know the owner, and we stayed after to watch her sing. She toured with Riverdance as a musician and singer, and she performs at the restaurant from time to time. After that, we called my mom to bring the kids down so we could attend the outdoor movie night. We bundled up and watched How To Train Your Dragon on the huge inflatable screen set up right on the beach, and though it was cold and kind of damp, it was neat to watch a movie beneath the stars while the lights reflected off the water.

Since it's the 4th of July today, I thought I'd post a picture of the "eagle cam" my dad has set up on his property. He's been building his ginormous house on the bluff overlooking the ocean for going on nine years now, and there are bald eagles nesting in some of the trees on his property. Bald eagles mate for life, and here in Vancouver the eagles migrate up to Alaska in the fall and return each spring to nest and have babies. Usually they only have one egg, which the parents take turns sitting on 24/7. But my dad is lucky enough to have a pair of eagles that had twins this spring. He figures they're about 74 or 75 days old today.

Here's a shot of one of the parents feeding a youngster. Can you see it there at the front of the nest? It's got a dark head, and won't get it's white feathers for a few years yet. World renowned eagle researcher David Hancock says they should be fledging (i.e. learning to fly) in the next eight or nine days. He and my dad are working on setting up an Internet link for the live webcam, so I'll keep you posted. I was just at my dad's place this afternoon and he put the camera shot on his big TV so we could see it. The second he turned it on, one of the adults swooped in with a salmon and dumped it in the nest. The babies are so big now that the adults leave the nest at night and roost in the trees on the other side of the house, but it's still close enough to keep an eye on their little ones.

I'll try to post more pictures in the coming weeks, and if the feed goes live on the web I'll post the link ASAP. Hope everyone is having a safe and wonderful long weekend south of the border!

I'm over at Cynthia Eden's blog tomorrow, talking about my special ops heroes. (What else, right?) I'll post a link tomorrow, so you come on by and enter the contest to win a copy of one of my books.