Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our First ICE STORM!


Yesterday we had our first ice storm...it was amazing. EVERY THING was covered with ice. Every limb, every blade of grass, EVERY THING! It was beautiful...but dangerous, impossible to walk on the sidewalks. They closed the Temple because of it, but by evening the temperature had warmed up so everything had melted.
Our car was completely encased in ice. We couldn't even open the doors!
The pine tree in our back yard.
This is the back of our apartment.
See out the entire branch is covered...and look at my bird feeder...poor little birds. They were back out again this morning though...so I guess they all survived
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More Winter Walks





This is the area right at the end of Parley's Street where many of the Saints crossed over in that February Exodus. This is also where many of my grandchildren when swimming when they came to visit last summer...remember? (Still can't find your ball or ring, Chad ) :)
You can see the river is completely frozen...but that is because there is not much current on this side of the dam. The river on the over side is still flowing freely..which makes you realize what a miracle it was that it froze over that February when the saints had to cross!





We had just gotten to the top of the little hill into the park and saw all these deer in the camping area! I guess they were having a picnic...there must have been a dozen or more. When they saw us they all ran into the woods, of course...but it was fun to watch them. Click on the picture to see them better.

This was a most amazing experience, and the pictures do not do it justice! I was on my way down to the river and as I got close to
the Brigham Young home, I could hear all these geese squawking! Well, as I got closer, I couldn't believe my eyes...there were hundreds of them...all on this field across from Brigham Young's home. It was breathtaking to say the least. I can't figure out why they had chosen that field to congregate on except maybe because it was close to the cornfields you can see in the background, and there were still some remaining corn left there after the harvest. Anyway, it was quite the sight. I'm posting a couple of videos I took too, but I called them DUCKS! Don't know why...guess because I was just so excited to see so many geese and was just not thinking! I DO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bald Eagle Days in Keokuk

Saturday, after the Temple.,..we hurried over to Keokuk to the last 2 hours of their Bald Eagle Appreciation Days celebration. Keokuk is the winter home of the largest concentration of Bald Eagles on the Mississippi River. I posted some pictures of the eagles along the river that we had seen a couple of weeks ago. They had all kinds of booths and entertainment set up in the River City Mall there, and it was all very interesting. I wish we had had more time to spend there before it closed for the day. It was open again today (Sunday) , but of course we would not go over today....really not a Sabbath activity...especially for a missionary :)!!


Keokuk was originally an Sauk or Sac Indian settlement and is named after on of their great Indian Chiefs. There were a lot of Native American booths with items to purchase and lots of interesting information about the Native Americans who settled this area. They were also doing some fun dancing at one end of the mall. I tried to get a couple of pictures...not very good, but maybe enough for you to get a flavor of the dancing.




Several of our Site missionaries spent the whole day over at this celebration in a booth called NAUVOO ON THE ROAD...They were demonstrating pioneer crafts and games, etc...much like they do in the Family Living Center here in Nauvoo. For example...candle making, weaving, rope making. etc. They were just closing up when we came, but I got a picture of the women...the men were loading up the supplies. Sisters Guymon, Leal, Torrie, and Saville.

A little boy ...proud of his eagle mask...so I took his picture while we were waiting in line for the Bird Show. The World Bird Sanctuary of St. Louis brought several of their raptor birds, and put on a program in the movie theatre in the mall. It was very interesting!




There were two different kinds of owls...this is a barn owl...little, but scary looking :) He could turn his head all the way around!!

These two pictures are the screech owl, pretty cute looking I thought. This owl would fly over our heads from the front of the theatre to the back and only inches from our heads!! ...and when you closed your eyes, you couldn't hear it at all. They have "silent flight" so their prey do not hear them coming. Owls also have excellent hearing. She said they could hear a mouse running along the ground 2 miles away!!


This is an Auger Buzzard, which she said was a cousin to the red-tailed hawk. She said that what we think of as buzzards are actually vultures and not buzzards at all. This guy really didn't like his picture taken and was usually turned the other way.



These next 3 pictures are a Tawny Eagle, and he really acted mean!! He kept trying to fly away from the man who was holding him!





He actually hit the man in the head with his wings here!


Would you like to meet him in a dark alley?!! Remember the show THE BIRDS? I kept thinking about that all during this program.



And then there was this beautiful Bald Eagle...named Patriot. He was so majestic and beautiful. He was really cool to be so close up to one of these magnificent creatures!



Eagles have incredible eyesight. She said if they could read, they could read a normal printed page across the length of a football field!!!
Their wing span is about 7 feet...but they weigh only about 11 pounds because their bones are hollow.

Looks like a stuffed bird...but HE WAS REAL!




They also had this African White Naped Raven outside the theatre that they had trained to take bills from peoples hands and fold them and put them in this donation box for the sanctuary. He was amazing...I got Rick to try it so I could catch this picture!






This was just a man made eagles nest they had displayed in the mall, but they said eagles nests can be as large as 9 feet wide and 12 or more feet deep!! The eagles mate for life and they come back to the same nest every year and they add to it every year!!



On the way home we stopped by the river and I got another couple of pictures of the eagles in the wilds! There were several in this tree when we stopped the car, but as I started to walk towards them, they all flew away except this one and he just stayed and stayed!


Video of the Native American dancing at Eagle Days. This was a dance to ward off illnesses and problems.
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Winter Walk in the Woods

I hadn't gone on my trail through the woods for several weeks...since the snows came, but a few days ago, it was such a nice day, I decided to try it! It was absolutely awesome! Not alot of snow...but enough that I was glad I had my boots on :) The trail was packed down, as you can see, with lots of prints...but NO human ones! Just all kinds of animals! It made me realize there are really a lot of wild life in these here woods:)!!







This bridge is over a little creek, but it was frozen solid, of course!

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Standing out on the Lake...looking west!....lots of animal tracks on the Lake too.


Looking across the Lake to the Temple and the Lutheran church. You can't even see these from this spot in the summer, because of the foliage.


The picnic area in the woods.



cutting across the pasture to get to our back yard


As I came into our yard, I could see dozens of birds feeding on my bird feeder. I tried to get close enough to get a picture, but they all flew away. It is really fun to watch them from the house though. There are so many different kinds...but the prettiest are the cardinals. There are lots of cardinals in this area of the country and they are so beautiful. I will try to get a picture someday...but here is one from the web. Also a red headed woodpecker. There is one of these that comes around quite often.






We also put out a salt lick for the deer, and we have deer coming every night. I think the rabbits and probably other little animals come to the lick also. See all those tracks in our back yard...they are all animal tracks. The animals have a party on the "flats" here every night, I think!

Monday, January 11, 2010

IT'S COLD!!

The last 2 weeks have been extremely cold here in Nauvoo! It rarely gets above the single digits in the day and always below 0 at night! Then with the wind chill factor ( and the wind is almost always blowing) it is even colder that what the temperature says. Some nights it was 15- 20 below!! We are grateful to have a nice warm apartment and Temple to shelter us from the elements. It has made us realize more than ever, though, how much the early members here suffered...especially when they were driven from their homes!



The River Road the morning after a storm. That is the Mississippi on the left...all frozen over!

Another picture of the frozen Mississippi

Looking south from our apartment. This is the back of the Heber C. Kimball home.

Our back yard

The other morning it was so clear and beautiful for a change that we decided to go for a walk, but since it was only 4 degree above 0, we really bundled up as you can see.  We felt like the little boy in The Christmas Story... and we could hardly walk.  My glasses kept foggy up too, because I was breathing into my face mask, and even ice even formed on them!  I finally just took them off and held them because I couldn't see :)  Of course THEN I couldn't see very much either :)


Rick's face got cold because he didn't have a face mask...but other than that we were pretty warm! We both had on double coats, by the way!!



Just finishing the walks.  You can see we don't have a lot of snow...but we sure have the COLD!
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