Friday, November 7, 2014

Priorities Are Looking Up

Thought for the day: Celebrate your success and stand strong when adversity hits, for when the storm clouds come in, the eagles soar while the small birds take cover. 


[Morguefile]



And sometimes, those small birds do something that allows the eagles to keep on soaring.



[wikipedia]






Okay, so it isn't a small bird, but it is a fairly small private college. We've driven past the entrance sign to Berry College in North Georgia before, but I didn't know much about the school until I heard about the eagles.

Ford Dining Hall [wikipedia]


The school, founded in 1902, sits on 27,000 acres, more than half of which is wildlife preserve overseen by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. To give you idea of how large the on campus wildlife population is, there's approximately one deer there for every two students.  Lots of areas for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, too, all of which are open for the public to enjoy. This liberal arts college also gets very high marks for its academic programs.

Berry College's Mirror Lake [wikipedia]
One thing the school didn't have was a stadium, but in 2012, it was ready to build one. (Believe me, in Georgia, college sports is a BIG DEAL.) They ascertained the perfect spot, had lots of enthusiasm and support from the student body and the community, and even had a nickname all picked out. Their new stadium would be called Valhalla. Excitement ruled!





[Morguefile]

And then someone spotted the eagles. A pair of them, building a nest atop a pine tree smack dab in the middle of the perfect location they'd chosen for their Valhalla.

So, believe it or not, the original plans for the stadium's location got scrapped. I guess you could say the original plans were for the birds. (Sorry.)

Another not-quite-as-perfect location was selected, and what's even more exciting, a couple cameras were set up to monitor the nesting eagles. More than sixteen million people from around the world follow the video feed. How cool is that? I check in with them from time to time, but haven't seen much action lately. October-November is supposed to be one of their usual laying times, but I haven't seen any eggs yet. Maybe soon? Wanta check it out? Go to georgiawildlife.com/BerryEagleCam

                    The Eagle
[Morguefile]

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

[Alfred Tennyson]

[Morguefile]
Wanta hear a few interesting facts about eagles?

*  They have a million light-sensitive cells per square mm of retina, which is five times more than humans, and while humans see three basic colors, eagles see five. This enables them to spot even well-camouflaged prey from quite a long distance. In fact, studies have indicated they can spot an animal the size of a rabbit from up to two miles away! (Now you know what it really means to be eagle-eyed.)

*  There are sixty species of eagles, but the bald eagle lives only in North America. Many species lay two eggs, but the larger chick frequently kills its smaller sibling... without interference from the parents.

*  Their nests can be HUGE. Eagles can live up to thirty years, and they typically use the same nest... and add more material to it every year. The typical nest is from five to six feet in diameter, but there's a record-breaking one in St. Petersburg, Florida, that's nine and a half feet in diameter, and an amazing twenty feet tall. Believe it or not, the heaviest nest on record weighed a whopping three tons. Because of its location atop a pine tree, the size of the nest at Berry College will be somewhat limited. Currently, it may be closer to three hundred pounds. (Svelte by comparison!)

*  Bald eagles have a wingspan of about seven feet, and can fly 35-43 MPH when gliding and flapping, and about 30 MPH when carrying fish. Would you believe they can fly while carrying fish that weigh as much or even more than they do? Their dive speed can be 100 MPH or more. Their gripping power is 750 pounds per square inch, which is ten times greater than a human's.

[Pssst! What did the eagle say to his friends before they went hunting for food? Let us prey...]

I've shared this eagle video before, but it's well worth sharing again. Amazing!


[Morguefile]


One other kinda neat result of the nesting eagles at Berry College. You know how so many young people walk around with their heads down, oblivious to the world, staring at a cellphone, furiously thumbing in a message, or reading text? At Berry, students are more likely to be found looking up... hoping to spot one of their eagles.

We are eagles of one nest — the nest is in our soul.  [Led Zeppelin]





Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Oh yeah, something isn't soaring high... matter of fact,  it's diving toward the ground at 100 MPH. Beginning at 8AM PST on Saturday the 8th, and running through 12AM PST on the 15th, Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade will be on sale on Amazon for a paltry ninety-nine cents. Haven't read it yet? Now's your opportunity to swoop in and get it on the cheap.

72 comments:

  1. Berry College sounds like an amazing place, and the eagles would be a blessing to see along with the other animals and birds.

    Will have to swoop over to Amazon and ready myself for another good deal ;)

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    1. The more I read about Berry, the better it sounds. I think I would have loved attending that school.

      Cool! I hope ya snag it... and enjoy it!

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  2. How I love hearing that the eagles were triumphant. I hope that they raise many, many families from that spot.
    And yes, that video is well worth seeing twice. Or more than that.
    I hope that Hot Flashes does really, really, really well. As it deserves.

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    1. I had a feeling you'd approve. It's refreshing when people show respect for members of the animal kingdom.

      Thanks! Your mouth (computer?) to God's ear.

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  3. Wouldn't the Eagles simply have moved to a nearby tree, where things were quieter?

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    1. Good question. Possibly. Or it's also possible they would have found a new location outside of the campus grounds. I think the school considered the presence of the eagles to be a rare blessing, and they didn't want to risk losing them.

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  4. Firstly, I like your thought for the day, then I got interested in the college. It has a great dining hall and a blissful mirrorlake. ButbI guess I got more engrossed with facts you shared about eagles. I wish I have eagle eyes.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm not sure if I'd wanta be eagle-eyed or not. For some things, yes, but I don't think I want to see my image all that clearly when I look into the mirror.

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    2. Ahaha you've got a point there, I don't want to see my image so clearly too on bad skin or bad hair days :)

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    3. I don't wanta see too well on my "looking old" days. Um, wait a minute... that's every day! Crap.

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  5. I think that is great that the school decided to change it's location for the eagles living there... and whoa to the weight of these nests, incredible!!

    I hope everything is going well with you Susan ... have a fun weekend ;)

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    1. Yeah, me, too. (Aren't ya glad you don't have to CLEAN those monster-sized nests...?! Never mind. They don't "clean"... they just "cover" with more nest...)

      Back atcha. You have a super weekend, too.

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  6. Wow Berry College looks very European as far as architecture. I love it!

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    1. Isn't it gorgeous? Such beautiful architecture, and set in such beautiful natural surroundings.

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  7. I hope that the students wear hats and keep their mouths closed when walking around campus looking up at the flying Eagles. Big birds make big poop.

    To think that Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird. There is no glory in a turkey except when it is roasted and placed on a platter.

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    1. HA! Good point. I've seen firsthand what a seagull can do, and I'm sure eagles are quite proficient in that department, too.

      Isn't that a hoot? (Or a gobble...) I sure am glad the eagle won that national bird contest. Nothing "glorious" or "inspiring" about a turkey, at least not when it's alive. Sitting on a platter with its butt filled with dressing is a whole 'nother matter.

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  8. That sounds like a pretty campus. How neat to be able to watch the eagles there. That video is amazing! I didn't know eagles could swim!

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    1. I'm glad you watched the video. It amazed me the first time I saw it, because I didn't realize they could swim, either.

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  9. Berry sounds like a college I would've loved - especially since they moved their stadium so not to disturb the eagles :)

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  10. Wow, no wonder the expression eagle eye came about when they can see like that.

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    1. Yep, better keep the little pets inside when eagles are on the prowl.

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  11. You can see the movement in that image of Mirror Lake. I can also imagine that I feel its coolness.

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    1. That's because you've got such a vivid imagination. You should be a writer... ☺

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  12. The eagles would probably have found a new place to nest...I'm glad they were left alone!

    Loved the swimming eagle.

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    1. Yes, the eagles would undoubtedly have found a new place to nest, but I'm glad the school thought their presence in the tree of their choice was worth preserving.

      Me, too. That was one determined eagle!

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  13. Very cool, indeed, about the eagles. Happy Weekend!

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    1. I'm glad you like the eagles' story.

      Happy weekend to you, too!

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  14. I always learn something here! Always

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Good! I'm glad to hear it. (The question is: is it anything you WANT to learn...?)

      Good to hear from you again.

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  15. Good for that school. Nature needs to be protected and helped.
    I have never seen an Eagle but I have several hawks that fly and glide around my land. I have seen them swoop down and fly away with their dinner.
    You always have the best posts !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. We've lived in this same house since 1971, and last year, we saw an eagle flying overhead when we were in the back yard. It was the first one we'd ever seen here, and we were reeeeeeally excited by it. Since then, we've seen several more. What a majestic sight! But I love watching the hawks, too. A red-tailed hawk about cleared out the population of chipmunks in our neighborhood before he moved on. We've been seeing chipmunks again, so I suppose we'll be seeing the hawks again soon, too.

      Thank you!

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  16. Kids looking up? Scratch that... people looking up? I'd want to visit for that fact alone, that's becoming a tourist attraction on its own. ;) And the school does sound amazing. It's not often big plans are scrapped for little (or not so little) birds.

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    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. Looking UP? What a concept!

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  17. What a terrific campus! I love the idea of leaving the eagles' aerie undisturbed.

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  18. An absolute beauty of a post. My favourite bird, the eagle. Thanks. I enjoyed the images and text. What a lovely place this college must be.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. The eagle is my favorite, too. It looks so majestic.

      I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Greetings back at you.

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  19. Beautiful post!

    I've taken pictures of lots of birds, but I never caught a glimpse of an eagle in the wild - until the ONE time my camera was in the trunk. We were going over a high arch of a bridge and I was in the passenger seat. I looked to my right and there was an eagle flying parallel to the bridge - with a fish in its mouth!

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    1. Thanks!

      It's too bad your camera was in the trunk when you saw the eagle. Murphy's Law, huh? But at least you got to SEE it. Hopefully, you have a photographic memory...

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  20. So glad the college decided to locate the stadium elsewhere. Nature is more important than football.

    The first time I ever saw a bald eagle was in Germany...go figure. We have a few here in Lakeland, some right downtown, at the lake where I like to run. They know it's a bird paradise here.

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    1. SOME of us think nature is more important than sports, but I don't know that we're in the majority.

      Yeah, your area is bird heaven, for sure.

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  21. The elegance of eagles. At Berry College and elsewhere. I should check out the camera, some time.

    Blessings and Bear hugs, Susan.

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    1. They are elegant, aren't they? Um, do eagles and bears get along...? Maybe not if they're going after the same salmon.

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    2. I don't worry too much about Eagles. They're actually very nice. If one gets in the way, I'll give it a swat; whether I hit it really doesn't matter.

      Blessins and Bear hugs!

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    3. Methinks you're more of a teddy bear than a grizzly.

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  22. That swimming eagle is amazing, I've never seen it before.
    Eagle-eyed sight is also amazing, I'd love to have that kind of vision.

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    1. That swimming eagle is something else, isn't he? Talk about determination.

      If I could turn it on and off, I wouldn't mind having that kind of eyesight, either. Lord knows, I don't wanta see all that sharply when looking in the mirror, though.

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  23. Hi Susan - Lenny told me about this College and its eagles - he keeps an eye on the video cam ...

    The Martha Berry sights are quite amazing .. I gather the house is amazing too .. and they've got an art exhibition with Ellen Axson Wilson's paintings and memorabilia ...

    Love the eagles though ... and fish eagles are quite extraordinary - we had them in South Africa too ...

    Wonderful to read ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary.

      Very cool that you already knew about the eagles. (Kinda sounds like you know more about the school than I do!)

      Cheers to you, too!

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  24. Berry College looks like a beautiful school, and how exciting to be surrounded by so much wildlife! It's sad how the bigger baby eagles often eliminate their smaller siblings. Talk about sibling rivalry!

    Julie

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    1. Berry is a beautiful school with lots of wildlife. (When I was in school, "wild life" usually referred to frat parties...)

      HA! Sibling rivalry taken to the extreme.

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  25. Such majestic birds. I can't recall seeing one.

    That's a beautiful college. I'd like to visit more of them when I travel since many have amazing structures.

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    1. They are truly majestic. In the seventies, bald eagles were on the endangered list, but they've made a fine comeback. I'm pretty sure there are quite a few of them in your part of the country. Look up!

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  26. Replies
    1. Hi-ya. Thanks for stopping by and signing on as a new follower. Welcome aboard!

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  27. ...the eagles soar while the small birds take cover.

    Not trying to sound depressing but there are times I feel like a kiwi or a dodo.

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    1. I think we all feel like a dodo every now and then.

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  28. So glad they moved the stadium. And this sounds like a wonderful place to study. And I just got a copy of your book. Woot!

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    1. Yeah, me, too. I always enjoyed studying outdoors, anyway, and Berry looks like it has lots of perfect places for that.

      Cool! I hope you enjoy it.

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  29. We have a bald eagle habit right behind my house, on the trail I use for running. I haven't seen one yet... which is kinda sad, but also not, especially if they can dive at 100 mph. And according to my GPS, I can run about 10 mph tops, so... not a good outlook for me.

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    1. HA! Well, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. I don't think an eagle is likely to dive at YOU... unless you look like a bunny. (It'd have to be a reeeeeally good disguise, though, since eagles are so, um, eagle-eyed...)

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  30. It is wonderful to hear that Berry College embraces and lives by a desire to coexist with nature. Totally unlike what Marcy Hatch reported about her town in her Monday post. I'm still mad about that one, and I don't even live there.

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    1. I always like to hear about people having regard for the animals around them. Thanks for mentioning Marcy's post. I'm glad to hear she's gonna speak out about that poor beaver.

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  31. Glad to know so many facts about eagles! The idea of capturing all the moments of nesting eagles is indeed exciting. The architecture of the school is lovely. The ambience seems peaceful and quite, which is apt to study!

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    1. Lots of people (like me) have a real fascination for eagles. I guess that's why so many people from all over the world have been watching the video feed of their nest.

      And that school? Looks like a wonderful place to study.

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  32. I like the idea that the students have something more interesting to gaze at than their cellphones.

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    1. Yeah, me, too. Of course, there are LOTS of things more interesting to gaze at than those cellphones. The trick is getting the students to realize it.

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  33. Hey Susan,

    Thought for the day. *I wonder where that amazingly awesome Gary has been lately?* Yay, I'm here. Gosh!

    Very interesting, my esteemed friend. Somebody asked me who is my favourite Eagle. To which I replied, "Don Henley."

    Did you know there are more American Bald Eagles residing in Canada than America? Yep, they need to chill out, eh. Chill out with the Canada Geese....

    Lovely to see you, Susan.

    Gary

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    1. Hey, Garrrrrry! Welcome back. It's good to hear from you again.

      HA! My favorite that kinda Eagle is Joe Walsh. (He's an amateur radio operator.)

      Maybe the bald eagles are migrating to Canada to take advantage of the free health care...

      Lovely to see you, too, Gary.

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  34. As you said...priorities. Glad this school had the right ones.

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    1. Yep, priorities say a lot about a person... or a school.

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