Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lady Red Eland Plot For Robbery Wealthy!

The noble bald eagle! Proud symbol of the United States!
Essentially a carnivorous chicken.

Ever spent much time around chickens?

Nobility is not one of their attributes.

If you live in these parts, it isn't 'bald eagle', it's 'ball-headed eagle'. This is not only an example of poor enunciation, but a strange meeting of vernacular and inner wisdom. Your common eagle has about as much sense as a cue ball. Shits quite a lot more than the average cue ball though. In venery terms this is called 'slicing'. What it is in reality is nine gallons of partially digested road kill ejected at high velocity. (The only other creature that produces biohazardous wastes in excess of intake and body mass aside from the human infant.)

Favored eagle roosting sites are heavily coated, Jackson Pollock style, with this substance. The ground below them is...crunchy.

What eagles do, mainly, is stand around.

...9:30 am

And stand, and stand, and stand.

....9:45 am

And stand some more.

...2:35pm. yes, all the same day.

They stand in fields, they stand on trees. They stand on dead cows. They stand on light poles. They stand in ponds.
Around here, any pond extant is a stagnant stew of rotting vegetation and cow by-products, which seems to bother the eagle not one whit. They'll wade in tit deep and....stand.
For hours.
Literally hours.

Very occasionally they have minor altercations, which vigorous event entails some flapping at one another and then one flying off a few feet.
Where they stand.

They will cooperate in breaking up kill. A family group will patiently deploy around, trudging through the mud like grumpy toddlers, tugging and twisting until everyone has a leg or a head.
After which they drag their lunch-chunk off, and stand.

It is a stirring and inspiring sight to see one of these great birds in flight.

It is somewhat less inspiring to see one with its head buried to the shoulders up a dead cow's ass, making the entire carcass shudder and jump.

This is a regrettably common sight around here, too. Farmers set down cows out next to the road so that the dairy service can haul them off for incineration. What is convenient placement for the Morgans' truck becomes a traffic- slowing sideshow for tourists.
Welcome to Sumas! Ignore the eagle backing down the side of the road pulling the intestinal tract out of that dead cow there. Nature is beautiful.

They wonder why we still have ten empty businesses on Main Street.


  1. You should be a geography teacher. I've learned more about the P. Northwest reading your blog than in 12 years of schooling.

    ("When I look back on all the crap I learned in high school it's a wonder I can think at all. But my lack of educashion hasn't hurt me none -- I can read the writing on the walls...")

  2. Actually, considering the present administration, particularly the president, the image of the avian national symbol with its head up a cow's ass seems appropriate...

  3. Anonymous10:22 AM

    i have to agree with everyone so far. you're hilarious, as usual. and basically, isn't an eagle just a fancy name for buzzard?

  4. I genuinely found that very interesting. Can't think why.

  5. Blimey, I became a vegetarian for about three hours after seeing cow skins in the back of a van from a local butcher (the tails were hanging over the side). Don't think I could've coped in Sumas. The worst we have to deal with around here is crows (the hoodies of the bird world) wolfing down discarded fish and chips.

  6. holy shit.

    that's an image that i won't be forgetting soon...

    ...but it will make me giggle every time. thanks fn!

  7. We only get pigeons here.

    And foxes.

  8. are you using spam to title your posts, now?

  9. hey, if Jefferson had got his way our national symbol would be the turkey, an animal so dumb it can drown itself by staring up at the rain. there's a symbol fer ya.

  10. kristy2:58 PM

    We get our eagles mostly at salmon spawning time. People like to stare at the pretty fishies swimming upstream. Two weeks later, the eagles are there putting on their own show, cleaning up the less then pretty salmon mess. Yup, circle of life and all that crap. Nature's grand.

  11. cb: yeah, my high school had the same graffiti problem. i dont think most curriculae include eagle indolence, though.
    danator: *cracking up* the new symbol on the dollar bill!
    pink: ever seen a buzzard up close? blearghhhhh! nasty freaky raw peeled heads like an infected zit with a beak, ew ew ew.
    tick: because dead cows and eagles dragging offal around is INTERESTING, duh.
    betty: i put out all my soup bones for the crows. i like them! except when they drop the bones on my roof and scare the piss outta me.
    claire: its picturesque out here. the magnificent West and all.
    billy: you need to import more interesting vermin. anacondas? fruit bats?
    w2: no, titles from a japanese kids show called Kikkaido from back in the 70's. i have difficulty thinking up good titles so i figure those are as good as any.
    cb: wild turkeys are damned smart, though. its the domestic white rock turkeys that have had all the smarts bred out of them. still, i wouldn't want some hernia-headed nasty thing like that for a symbol anyway.
    kristy: yeah, thats another one of those wild kingdom moments, huh? watching eagles whipping a rotted salmon around by the head until the tail flies off...get the camera, honey!

  12. Do you ever get the urge to run at them, flapping your arms and screaming? I think they would appreciate the break in such a monotonous routine of just standing around. Of course, they might just attack you. I don't know much about their habits, other than what you just told me.

  13. We have Baldies near the Lakes so that they can steal food from the Gulls (Air-Rats, both of them)but most of our roadkill is picked on by Turkey Vultures, Crows and Magpies.
    No wonder Ben Franklin wanted the Wild Turkey as the National Bird.

  14. Fer Christs sake only just finished reading the last post - Bear meet? nothing like the ones I go to.

    I think you should get a v/camera and post the eagles on You Tube - a sort of Andy Warhol type thing with the eagles just standing, standing, standing.

  15. I'm thoroughly disillusioned. What about all that soaring through canyons we see on nature documentaries? Has David Attenborough been creeping about Washington State, slipping firecrakers up avian ass?

  16. I'm arranging for more dead sheep to be strewn around the Welsh hill sides.

  17. Your posts always make me so homesick.

    No, I'm serious. They really do.

  18. I wonder what eagles think about when they are just you think they are eyeing us all up thinking look at the digestive tract on that.
    Going out for dinner would be much more fun if we all adopted an eagle eating style , could this be an idea for a themed restaurant ????

  19. Now those baldy eagle things have feathers on their heads so stop trying to give them a complex.
    I actually don't know what kind of birds we have as I haven't looked up since 1945, those German dive bombers put me into therapy.