Thursday, January 15, 2015

Meeting Harriet at the National Eagle Center

Meet Harriet…she’s the beautiful eagle we met on our Sunday road trip.  A road trip that started out like any other normal day.  


It was last Sunday and time to take my daughter back to college after her holiday vacation, which was about a 2 hour trek with just me and her. I actually thought this was pretty cool – just us girls (mother and daughter) on the road having some girl bonding time.  It was probably most appreciated by me - it’s a mom thing…right?!?  My daughter, aka Loo, certainly got the gist of that, as we departed our driveway, and I hollered out, “woo hoo girls road trip!”  The startled look I got in return was hilarious…pretty sure she thought I had cracked!


Honestly, if time is on your side along with the weather cooperating, which is important here in Minnesota, road trips can be pretty enjoyable and somewhat entertaining.  I like to read the street signs and the names of small town businesses.  The Whistle Stop Café, Flower Valley Road, Meatheads Butcher Shop – I’m easily entertained.  Then, of course, listen to music and have some girl chitchat.  I like to scan license plates to spot any out-of-stater’s and wonder how did a car from Hawaii get to Minnesota and why? Hmm...

Even more fun, are spontaneous impromptu stops to places you hadn’t planned for your trip.  Sometimes these are the highlights of a road trip.  In our case, we took a sidetrack off the main highway to go visit the National Eagle Center  - of course, I saw the road sign, Haha!

When we arrived we were told that this was a special day at the Eagle Center.  It was “Sunday Rat Day!”  “Umm…really?” Loo’s face and mine might have shown some discomfort with this, as we're not particularly fond of rats.  However, apparently, eagles are!  

Not only did we meet Harriet, but also Angel and Was'aka.



























If you have a weak stomach, sorry for the following picture, but this was Angel’s special day! She was the lucky bird to have rat for lunch and we got to watch! 

She tore into that rat ripping the meat off piece by piece and blood was splattering the area, while we watched Angel completely devour her delicacy of rat.  Which, by the way, are farm raised specifically for these eagles.  

Now, you would have thought this blood bath would have been traumatizing for us! Surprisingly, I have to say, as much as I hate rats, blood and carnivorous eating; this was actually pretty fascinating to watch.  I know - shocking, right!!!


Our Naturalist Educator, Anna, presented some very interesting facts about eagles and really made the experience less horrific and really quite entertaining.  Eagles are pretty amazing animals!!  I also learned that it's a federal offense to keep an eagle feather in your possession.  In order to have one in your possession, you must be a registered owner and go through a registration process.  I had no idea!!

Another cool fact that Anna told us is that Harriet posed as a model for our Veteran’s license plate (see below).  How about that? As a road tripin’ license plate spotter, I thought this was pretty awesome!  Now, when I see those plates going down the road, I can say that I met Harriet, she’s a famous model! 


After our little detour, we reached our destination and I, woefully, dropped off my college girl, unloaded her belongings and gave her a big hug goodbye.  Sadly, my road trip home would be less exciting as it entailed me driving back solo.  However, riding solo has its benefits – it’s a good time to ponder life and, more importantly, I can sing along to my favorite songs as LOUDLY as I want and I DID!! 

While pondering, I thought this turned out to be a pretty nice Sunday road trip and educational too!  I can say with great confidence, that when we started out on this road trip, I had no idea it was “Sunday Rat Day!”  

Personally, I prefer "a square of chocolate" over a rat any day!


Put your smile on and unwrap
   A Square of Chocolate,
Laurie O


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2 comments:

  1. We encountered this place on a little road trip, as well. We were spending the weekend in Lake City and found a whole festival going on in Wabasha. It was such a pleasant surprise!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hwy 61 is a great scenic road trip! Thanks for commenting :)

    ReplyDelete

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