Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Eagles

I just can't resist.  Taking screenshots is almost as fun as taking actual pictures.  You try to wait for just the right moment, when the camera is clear and the eagles are in the right position, then .... 

...hopefully the shot is a good one!  The Decorah, Iowa Eagle-cam was featured on Good Morning America this morning.  As of this writing, two of three eggs have hatched.

The two eaglets are eating.  These two were "born" just one day apart and they have quite a head-start on the third of the brood.  

 If you want to watch the eagles live, simply Google "ustream decorah eagles."  If you want to take a screen shot, press the "print scr" button next to F12.  Open Paint (click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, Paint).  Then simply paste the image into Paint and crop your desired image.  Those instructions were for a PC.  I don't know how to do it in Mac.  (It's probably real simple, though.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Today was a kind of crazy spring day.  Cool in the morning, thunderstorms late morning, sunny and warm in the afternoon.  I got rained on at the Farmer's Market, then planted a few perennials in the afternoon.  Sad news:  Gus's Garden Center is going out of business.  The flood from last fall was the last straw.  They have a great inventory and everything is on sale, so I guess I'll try to take advantage of the low prices in the coming days.
This magnolia is the biggest show right now.  I planted a magnolia tree and a magnolia shrub.  This is the shrub.  The tree will bloom a little later. 

 The forsythias in the back are also putting on a great show this spring.  The first thing I planted when I moved here was a forsythia.  Someone came along and stole it.  Can you believe it?  So, I went out and bought a few more.  I actually bought a chain and locked them up.
 This was when I first planted them in the spring of 2010.  They're growing well!  
 I hope you are having a colorful spring, too!

Monday, March 26, 2012


My father had a camera.  It was a German model, kept wrapped up in its leather case.  The camera had a light meter.  Every Christmas, before unwrapping presents, we had to wait, and wait, and wait while the light meter warmed up.  No one else knew how to work this odd marvel of technology.  No one really wanted to.  The camera was my father's, so he took the pictures.  And that means that he wasn't in those pictures he took.  As I have been going through family photos, I am struck my how few photos of him we have.  Here are a few of the snapshots we are fortunate enough to have.

This picture was taken in the Lewisburg Cemetery, which is right across the street from the house in which we lived.  We took frequent walks in the cemetery, looking at the gravestones and simply enjoying being outside.  Papa loved being outdoors in nature.  I am about 4 in the picture.  My brother, George, is about 3.

In this picture, he is standing with Tetya Lola, his mother's sister-in-law.  I don't know who the other man is, possibly Boris, Auntie Toni's companion.  (Toni is really my cousin, as she is Lola's daughter.)  They both lived in New York City for awhile.  Toni was a hairdresser and once styled the hair of one of the Kennedy sisters.  She did not have a high opinion of that famous hair.

As a professor of Physics at Bucknell University, Papa would don his robes once a year and attend graduation ceremonies.  The robe hung in his closet the rest of the year.  I used to love trying on his robe.  The velvet hood was so soft.

Here's another look at the hood.  The blue color symbolizes Columbia University in New York City where he got his PhD.

  This picture was taken in England.  In about 1965, he was a visiting professor at Cambridge, I think.  We lived in England for six months or so.  

That's enough for now, more later......


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Decorah Bald Eagles

My Mom is totally into watching eagles on the web.  One can watch webcams of eagle nests located in Norfolk, Virginia; Channel Island, California; and lots of other places in the USA and around the world.  The most famous and most watched of the webcams, for some reason, is Decorah, Iowa.  As of this writing, the nest at Decorah contains three eggs.  The first "pip" (when the eaglet pecks at the egg from inside) should happen any second.  This is huge for avid eagle watchers!   These people are more obsessed with eagles than Penn State fans tailgating at Beaver Stadium.  The Decorah, Iowa eagle webcam, provided by the Raptor Resource Project, is apparently the most-watched webcam of any kind at all in the world.  And, although I am not an "eagle groupie," I do enjoy watching every single day  once in a while!


The cameras last year were a bit fuzzy, but the operators of the Raptor Resource Project installed new cameras and they are great!    The new cameras can zoom in and out.  They can pan the landscape, too.  These are screenshots I took from their live feed on ustream.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Herring III -- The Results!

Well, I should have known better.  Ever since I've been getting salted herring from Bavaria Sausage, each and every single fish I've cleaned has contained roe.  But the pictures of roe sacks I showed you -- no they are not.  Turns out they are "milts" or sperm sacks from the males.  I thought the texture was a little off, but I didn't really think much about it because of my past experience with the herring.  I mean, each and every fish I've cleaned, dozens of them. have had roes sacks which look like this:  

Courtesy of Marianna Paavonkallio
Marianna graciously allowed me to use her picture of herring roe and you can visit her excellent website by clicking on the link above.

Here is a picture of what I thought were roe sacks from the fish I cleaned the other day:

 I thought they were a little "off."  They were not quite the right color and the texture was a bit slippery.  But, I didn't think much of it at the time.   When I cut into one, though, ready to show you how I like to spread the roe on bread, I realized that something was askew.  So, I did some research on line and found out that my roe sacks were really milts.  What's a milt?  Milts are the sperm sacks of male herring.  They are, apparently, edible.  And I know they are edible because my dog loved them.  While I was researching, I found a cute story about a couple who enjoyed a herring snack every Saturday night until "something happened."  You can read about it here:

That sperm sack looks like something......hmmm...
Now that the "mystery of the sacks" as been solved, let's get to the good stuff:  eating herring.  Herring can be enjoyed in a number of ways.  You can eat it with boiled potatoes with butter and sour cream.  You can have it in a kind of salad with potatoes and beets called "fur coat," so named because the sour cream spread over the salad resembles a white fur coat.  But my favorite way to enjoy herring is to eat it simply, with rye bread and a little butter. 

The bread pictured is not the correct bread, but it is whole grain and it is on my current diet.  Also it has seeds (caraway), which I like, but seeded bread is not traditional in my family.  To truly enjoy eating herring like a Russian, get the very best quality rye bread you can find.  Try to avoid Americanized, and by this I mean tasteless, bread.  I'll leave the controversial issue of seeds up to you.