Tag Archives: bald eagles

Ice (almost) Out

We are watching the lake and waiting for ice out. The water is getting wider every day. Last night we made a bet. I think ice out will be 4/29. Ned says 5/2. We’ve bet a nickel. We’ll see who’s right.

The last two days have been warm here on the shores of Messalonskee. We have spent the better part of both days in the sunshine working in the yard and getting ready for spring cleanup. There is a lot of spring cleanup to do – we lost a tree last winter in the high winds and there’s a lot of raking to do. We never got the flower pots in before the dirt froze so we have that to finish, too. We could use a full time gardening crew! (Not likely  to happen!)

Ned has also been planning and chipping away at some granite that he found under the old house. He’s going to make a bird feeder. When the demolition of the old boathouse was complete, he used the backhoe to move the boulder to the front corner of the house. Now he’s decided to move it to the center of the garden nearest our driveway. He’s been “noodling around” a plan to move a 1000 pound rock … yesterday he worked it into its spot. Using a winch, some chair, a sheet of plywood, and some logs he moved the rock across the yard. I watched!

Ned is rebuilding our boathouse with Tom and the Chore Store. They’ve completed the platform on top of the old concrete foundation (a slab was poured late last fall under the old garage end) and then up went the walls. Another day and we had a roof. Watching a building being stick-built is really amazing. Tom and his crew do a great job and Ned is thrilled to have a sturdy building again. He will use the back end as a workshop and the front will still be our boathouse in the spring, summer and fall. We hope the big dock spiders have gone out into the woods never to return.

Today Ned went for his first “swim” when his waders weren’t as long as the water was deep. It was a cold shock for sure! Never the less, he persisted in getting the scaffolding up so that he could wrap the front of the building with whatever-the-wrap is. I wish I could tell you that I have been involved in the process, but I haven’t. I’ve been busy working at the Yardgoods Center while my boss is out of town.  I’m tired from being on my feet and sore but I still love working in the yarn shop!

Our Florida friends are still asking us if we are ready to leave Maine in the winter and if we regret moving up north. The answer is still and unequivocal “NO!” We are so thrilled to wake up in this beautiful place every morning. We love watching the birds return to the feeders, watch the ducks arrive back on the lake. We loved watching the Bald Eagles on the ice all winter long. The feathered loons should be returning soon. The human loons have taken their ice fishing shacks off the ice for another season. It was a good winter and we continue to feel so lucky to live here.

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Eagle Games

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For the past several mornings (and the days that follow) we have had the privilege of watching a family of Bald Eagles on the ice in front of our house. While they are almost a mile away, they’re HUGE birds and appear to be even from a distance.

The first morning we spent an hour watching them with the binoculars. They were huddled on the ice in a large group around the closest ice fishing shack. As our day progressed, we watched them again and again. They’d fly off, come back, re-group but always the same five eagles. Two with full adult plumage (white heads and white tails) and three all brown (immature).

Never did we imagine that we’d get to watch them for days … and days! Our Marblehead family came up for an overnight and the eagle family thrilled them, too. Even with people playing out on the ice, the eagles remained. A neighbor was kind enough to tell us that the eagles are waiting for the left-over fish that were caught. It was a lightbulb moment for us but, man, those birds are patient!

In the afternoon and evening we’ve watched one or two of the eagles fly off. Once down the lake right toward our house, several times toward the Advent Christian Campground next-door. Every time it’s thrilling to watch.

Ned and the dogs and boys were out on the ice on Wednesday morning having a blast. The eagles were just beyond them on the ice. Amazing!

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For most of my life I had never seen an eagle in the wild. They had a spectacular eagle habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo. I saw pictures of them in books. I even watched “nest cams” on the internet. When I moved to Florida, though, I started seeing them in the sky, along the side of the road (for real!) and on airboat rides. We saw one one winter when we came to visit Maine for a couple of days in the old house. It has always been a treat to see eagles but this day-after-day-on-the-ice-in-front-of-the-house thing has just been awesome! (In the truest sense of the word.)

IMG_6276We had a bit of snow overnight and it’s raining now and relatively warm (39 degrees at 8am). The ice in front of our house is all broken and there is open water this morning but the eagles are out on the ice.

It’s Saturday and there are a lot of ice fishermen out on the lake. In my humble opinion, our view is spectacular but adding a family of eagles to the mix ups the game by several million!

We are so lucky to live here!

We don’t miss Florida even a bit.

 

Slab Day is Here – An Update

Red Pex, Blue Foam Insulation ... in time for the 4th of July

Red Pex, Blue Foam Insulation … in time for the 4th of July

Last week the radiant heat pipes were set into the house. It was fun to see the grid of rebar and the red Pex pipes all in place. Air-tested, no leaks. I can’t wait to walk on them. We also met with a man who will be acid staining the concrete when the house is closer to being done. We’ve decided that we’d like to keep it simple and stain the concrete floors as they are. No tile or other for coverings are needed on the main floor. Upstairs we’ll have wood floors and baseboard heat.

We had the privilege of watching two bald eagles fly over our 4th of July picnic down the road. The first one landed in a tree by the house and we listened to the crows squawking and the eagle’s weak peeps. There was another big bird, too. The neighbors think it may be a golden eagle, we wondered if it was an immature bald eagle. But whatever it was, we all were thrilled to watch the big birds on Independence Day. And we’re all so glad that they’re living around our lake.

Yesterday Ned saw a big furry something in the lake. He took out the canoe to and found it was a dead raccoon. Bloated and stiff. What do you do with a dead raccoon? We didn’t want to let it rot in “our” lake. He buried it in the yard behind the boathouse. We’ve been having too much fun to blog.

We are making progress on the house, however! Today the slab got poured!

I marvel at the ability of the concrete truck drivers who can back their huge trucks down our challenging driveway backward with finesse. And the team of guys who, up to their ankles, can spread and smooth wet concrete with apparent ease. A real team.

The A Team (aka Arthur's Team)

The A Team (aka Arthur’s Team)

Arthur at Work by the lake. Ned watching and filming

Arthur at Work by the lake. Ned watching and filming

The pouring started at just a little bit past 6:24am this morning. Arthur our wonderful “cement guy” (my lovingly and respectfully coined phrase) was here bright and early to do whatever he had to do  and before I knew it, the rumble of the concrete truck could be heard. I had to get dressed for work quickly and grab my coffee so that I could go out and watch the big event. (I dressed so quickly that my underwear was inside-out!) It’s truly impressive to watch the team of men, concrete truck drivers, and Arthur’s team of five (including Arthur) in a time-proven process, communicating in nods and waves. A shovel-full here, half a barrel there and then making sure it’s all level and smooth. Sometimes with a machine and sometimes by hand. Amazing by my estimation.

Tonight it’s raining and will keep the slab cool and moist enough to slow the curing process and we’ll have a good, hard four-inch slab on which to build our house. I can’t believe that the next step is to raise some walls.

To my eyes, the house looks tiny. Tiny enough that Ned went out tonight to measure the slab. I’m happy to report that my eyes are wrong and it’s just the right size.

Woo! Hoo!