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I realize not all of my devoted followers reside in Oregon, or in America for that matter. Still, I believe most all of us view bald eagles as mystical, magical–and oft-maligned. Let’s hope this was a wound of nature, not inflicted by a human; and that this majestic creature is soon healed and airborne.

Injured bald eagle awaits rescue. Photo source: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news

Bald eagle, grounded with an injured shoulder. Photo source: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news

News Release from: McMinnville Police Dept.
“On April 09, 2011 at about 1:30 pm, Officer Steve Macartney was dispatched to an animal call at 2400 SE Stratus Avenue near space #12, McMinnville. Local residents had found an injured bald eagle in some nearby brush. Officer Macartney confirmed that the injured bird was a bald eagle. With assistance from Oregon State Police, the Audubon Societycame out and took the bald eagle for rehabilitation.According to Deb Sheaffer of the Audubon Society, the bald eagle appears to be a five to six year old female with an injured shoulder. The eagle is in stable condition at this time, but the prognosis for release is guarded.  She is being treated with antibiotics and supportive care and will be evaluated day by day. She said that if the eagle recovers completely, it will be returned to the McMinnville area and will be released back into her territorial area.

Anyone with questions about the Audubon Society, their work, or this particular incident can call Deb Shaeffer at 503-292-6855 x125.  They can also be contacted through www.audubonportland.org

A FEW BALD EAGLE FACTS:

They mate for life; however if one dies, the survivor will accept another mate.

Their life expectancy is 15 to 20 years, but they can live as long as 30 years.

They are unique to North America. They are most concentrated in Alaska but are also found in Canada and every state in the United States except Hawaii.

They are no longer on the Endangered list, but they are still considered threatened because of poachers, habitat loss and injuries caused by man-made things, such as  power lines.

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Nancy, a friend and former-co-worker, who is an animal lover and AMAZING artist, posted this charming video on Facebook. Since we are “into” elk these days (That means observing them as they make their seasonal stay-a-few-days stroll in the meadow below our house.), well I just have to share this video of an elk and it’s puddle. As I commented on my Facebook page, some of this elk’s moves remind me of a cutting horse on a cow; or of my horse, Callie, when we ride through, hello it’s just, a puddle. Thankfully, her moves aren’t as swift as this guy’s. Click on the following link to view the YouTube version. Elk and its puddle video:

And while I’m thinking about it, if you admire animal-related art, take a few minutes to visit Nancy’s blog.  Here’s a sample of her felted animal creations.

"Maka," a felt sculpture by artist Nancy Lorenz, smiles on a beach in Hawaii. The real-life Maka, a Labradoodle, is "spokes-dog" for the Hawaiian Humane Society.

http://red-o-rama.blogspot.com/

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Berkshire sow, Lucy, with her 12 babies. who were venturing outside of the barn for the first time. Photo by Stacy Shellington.

PIGS. My friend Stacy was host to our monthly book club gathering last week. None of the members had visited Stacy’s Sky Ranch Boutique Swinery before. After we digested the reading material and a quiche she’d made from eggs laid that morning, we took a tour.

Timing was perfect, because her favorite sow, Lucy, is nursing a litter of 12. I loved hearing the voices of five women in unison, saying, “Oh, they are SO CUTE!” when the black-and-white piglets woke up and ran toward Lucy– and their lunch.

They moved in a single wave, like synchronized swimmers. (Mom is a Berkshire, which is a heritage breed.) One of our book club comrades remarked, “Your pigs are so clean. I always thought they were kind of dirty.” Stacy, who loves and pampers her sows and boar, Bubba, replied, “In the winter they sleep inside in lots of straw: Somehow, they wake up clean every morning even after they’ve spent all day in the pasture wallowing.”

HORSES. A horse trainer friend, Carmen, and I were talking about a recent cutting horse event.  I said, “It was so much fun seeing those little kids compete. What were they, 10 or 11 years old at the most?“ Carmen agreed about the cuteness factor, “It’s my favorite class to watch,” she said. “The cuttin’ horses the kids ride in these cuttings always seem to take such good care of their young riders.”

The horses do their job, turning and holding a cow away from the herd, but they seem especially gentle about the way they move, so they don’t unseat their young riders. Now that’s what I’d call horse sense.

In a cutting horse competition, “horse and rider quietly ride into a group of cattle. The rider controls the horse until a steer or heifer is separated, or cut, from the others. It is then up to the horse to keep the cow from getting back to the herd, thus demonstrating its  in-bred cow sense and training. The best cutting horses do so with relish, savvy and style. A contestant has 2 ½ minutes to demonstrate the horse’s ability.

Cutting is one of the fastest growing equine sports in the world. In 2006, the contestants at the United States National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity competed for more than $3.7 million. Total purses at NCHA-approved shows now exceed $39 million annually. The sport began on the range where a cutting horse’s job was to separate cattle for vaccinating, castrating, and sorting. (Source: Wikipedia)

http://joinncha.com/

Tara Gaines riding cutting horse Patrick La Dual in 2010. Photo source Facebook.

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