Essex 2-26-11

This Saturday night, the 26th , Colonel Matthew Moten will give a talk on how the United States ends its wars. Colonel Moten is a professor of history at the US Military Academy, commonly known as West Point, and is a graduate of that school. He holds a PhD in history from Rice University and specializes in the history of American military and political relations. The talk starts at 7:30, costs $5 for adults, and will have a question and answer session afterwards. Copies of the colonel's latest book, "Between War and Peace" will be offered for sale.

My home grown garlic, onions and potatoes are all starting to sprout. I don't store them at the correct temperatures, which should be cold but not freezing. Some mice managed to get into the potato bin and took a bite here and there, so the whole mess went into the compost pile.

I've seen several bald eagles along Lake Champlain recently, including a pair that put on a wild aerial courtship display featuring chasing, talon clasping and acrobatic flying. At first it looked like a pair of ravens, which have a similar display, but the wide white tails identified them as eagles. I did a little reading on eagles, and learned that the female is about 25 per cent larger than the male. Eagles range over most of North America, with the largest birds found in Alaska and the smallest in Florida. They prefer fish as their main food, and will grab them right out of the water with their powerful talons. They will also scavenge carrion and have been known to carry off deer fawns.

Amy tells me that maple syrup producers in Clinton County are starting to tap their trees, but so far the only activity I see at my neighbor's is a growing pile of fire wood by their sugar house. The longer days, sprouting vegetables and birds engaging in courtship behavior all mean that spring is on its way.

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