Friday, June 25, 2010

Relocation Research

Currently up at the Guncounter Forum is a thread about buying rural land: land rights, water rights, searching from afar, etc. etc.

Today this question popped up:
I know I'm jumping on this thread a little late but would like a little info from Chris/Mel if possible.
You had mentioned that Idaho was a "right to farm" state and had other "leave me alone" qualities that pushed it to the top of your list. However you did mention looking at several other states as possibilities. What were any of the other more southern states(these old bones(sad being the same age as Chris and referring to myself as old) can't take the cold much any more) not including deserts that you looked at?
I can do the research of employment rates/income/cost of living, but don't know much about finding laws concerning property rights. I'm hoping to be out of jersey by 35(if my house sells and can find a palatable region). I liked Tennessee and southern Kentucky, the less humid areas of Georgia, the Carolinas(although hurricanes are a big issue in coastal states). And of course any state would need to be "shall issue"(not really a problem south of the mason/dixie).

I wrote up a basic answer at the forum, but we've been getting this question quite a bit lately.

We did look at some of the Southern states, particularly Tennessee and North Carolina because I have family there. However the combination of humidity, heat, and land prices would do us in.

The more important question here is more universal. How do you research important fit issues like property rights and politics?

There's tons of sites where you can compare demographics, climate, taxes, and even gun rights. I've found property rights comparison sites to be thin on the ground and not very comprehensive. If you're a prepper there's James Wesley Rawles' list but the question I think is bigger than that. How do you choose an area to live that fits your needs and politics?

Unfortunately there's no replacement for long, intensive, first-hand research. Months in our case.

If you ask most people, the level of government most capable of making life unbearable is Federal. Bureaucracy, taxes, military movements, "world opinion" all contribute to that outlook.

Let's get this straight right now: the FedGov has absolutely NOTHING on local government. This becomes abundantly clear to anyone thinking of raising livestock, especially dairy cows. The local regulations are numerous and sometimes contradictory.

On the state level are health regulations, minimum housing standards, livestock treatment laws, and even laws concerning how to market the milk.

County level concerns zoning laws and whether or not you can even keep livestock on your back forty.

City and township laws tackle nuisances and neighborhood spats over the smell of the manure.

So determining where you want to live has far more to do with the specific laws concerning that locale that anything the FedGov hands down.

Any serious research into living anywhere therefore requires three different levels of laws.

1. State statutes and the state's constitution.
2. County bylaws and zoning.
3. City codes, if applicable.

To give you an idea we'll start with two of the reasons we moved to Idaho, Right to Farm and water/mineral rights.

22-4503.Agricultural operation not a nuisance -- Exception. No agricultural operation or an appurtenance to it shall be or become a nuisance, private or public, by any changed conditions in or about the surrounding nonagricultural activities after the same has been in operation for more than one (1) year, when the operation was not a nuisance at the time the operation began; provided, that the provisions of this section shall not apply whenever a nuisance results from the improper or negligent operation of any agricultural operation or an appurtenance to it. In the event of an alleged nuisance resulting from agricultural operations pursuant to a federal or state environmental permit or caused by a violation of the permit(s), terms or conditions, the affected party shall seek enforcement of the terms of the permit.

No break law? No nuisance. This was passed in response to a ton of people from out of state moving in and suing the farm next door.


55-101.Real property defined. Real property or real estate consists of:
1. Lands, possessory rights to land, ditch and water rights, and mining claims, both lode and placer.
2. That which is affixed to land.
3. That which is appurtenant to land.

Comprehensive land rights, a necessity for us.

Oh, and there's always this little gem:



Section 11.Right to keep and bear arms.
The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which right shall not be abridged; but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to govern the carrying of weapons concealed on the person nor prevent passage of legislation providing minimum sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a firearm, nor prevent the passage of legislation providing penalties for the possession of firearms by a convicted felon, nor prevent the passage of any legislation punishing the use of a firearm. No law shall impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.

If you can handle a little bit of legalese researching how a state feels about pretty well anything is pretty easy, if time consuming.

If the state passes your criteria, the next level is county.

We live in Bonner County because we want to be near Lake Pend Oreille. However, the tip of the lake is in Kootenai county, so why didn't we consider moving there?


We want to be able to use our land for agricultural purposes and personal purposes. One of these purposes is a personal rifle range.

Rifle ranges are incredibly sticky subjects for many, many counties. Not so for Bonner.

Personal rifle ranges are permitted in Agricultural, Forestry, and Rural zoning areas, provided that "Gun clubs and rifle ranges shall have a minimum area of 5 acres. Target areas shall be at least 600 feet from any existing dwelling, except that of the owner or caretaker."

The kicker is EVERY parcel zoned Agricultural, Forestry, or Rural is 5+ acres. That, and 90% of the private land is zoned for one of those uses. In fact, the state purpose behind Bonner County's land usage designations is to preserve those industries and the "rural character" of the county.

Yeah, we read a major "fuck you Californians" between the lines when we first looked at zoning too.

So yeah, to say that the county has no issue with people setting up a range on their own land is an understatement. In fact, when asking our neighbor for recommendations for areas to test the long-range rifle, he told us to look up so-and-so who lets him shoot on his land all the time. "Just be prepared for them to want to come along and try out your guns."

Did we mention we love the people up here?

This is what Kootenai county has to say about rifle ranges:


A. Zones permitted:

1. Agricultural, agricultural suburban, rural:

a. Minimum area: Ten (10) acres.

b. Target areas shall be six hundred feet (600') from any existing dwelling and three hundred feet (300') from any property line.

c. All facilities shall be designed and located with full consideration to the safety factors involved with such a use.

d. Off street parking for all patrons will be provided.

e. A site plan shall be submitted with the application. (Ord. 393, 12-14-2006)"

Sure, those are all reasonable expectations. But note how Bonner County government assumes you're not an idiot, but Kootenai has to make sure your plans measure up.

This is not an isolated example either. Most of the two counties' codes follow the same form; Bonner County's minimalism vs. Kootenai's desire for extra regulation.

What the county you live in decides to codify tells you a lot about how that government feels about the county's residents.

However, state and county still can't compare with the sheer pettiness of city government. If the area you're looking at passes the state and county sniff test, take a look at the city.

We don't live in an incorporated area. The closest city is Sandpoint, and we did NOT want to live in Sandpoint.

The short of it is the city council. Long version? The controlling, hypocritical, arbitrary and capricious acts of the city council.

Take some hippies. Transplant them into paradise. Give them power.

The big issue right now is the BID. The BID is a tax on Sandpoint businesses that pays for marketing for all of Sandpoint.

The businesses think the funds are being misspent (over 60% of the revenue goes to "administration') and so ran a petition to get rid of the tax. If they got signatures from 51% of the business owners by square footage the BID would be gone.

Lets clarify that... Not 51% of the business owners, or 51% of the population... The amount of tax paid is assessed on a square footage basis, so they decided the vote would be allocated the same way. They added up all the business zoned square footage in the area the BID applied to, and gave each business owner vote proportional to their share of the square footage. This of course gave huge weight to the larger businesses, like the Safeway, which are not locally owned.

The accusations are still flying as many of the signatures were "disqualified" under dubious criteria. For example, if the business was a partnership or sole proprietorship, then only a single assignee, whose name was listed first on their business license, could certify their vote. If the other partner signed, then they disqualified their vote. They also disqualified local franchisees and business managers of local branches of national chains, because they weren't the ACTUAL business owners.

That ended up disqualifying more than half the vote.

The drama is truly massive for a small town. And yeah, starting a business in Sandpoint, home based or no, is not on the table for us.

Oh and how much does the tax amount to? $104,000 a year. Not a month... per year... for all of the businesses combined.

Pretty trivial amount right? Well not to the people of North Idaho. If it was being spent as it was chartered for; improving parking (parking in Sandpoint is horrible), making local improvements, and business development, they'd be OK with it. But because 60% of the funds are actually being used to (at least in part) pay the salaries of two low level bureaucrats... No Go.

Have I mentioned how much I love these people?

Pay really close attention to the local newspaper for your intended area. What the news can tell you about city government is really important. Read the city codes, see how the regulations and allowable fines stack up. Check out whether your city council is made up of people with lives outside of town hall, or whether they get their rocks off making other people miserable.

If you can wade through all of the information (and it is a lot) then you'll really know if the area you're looking at is a good fit for you, your lifestyle, and your values.

Cross-posted to the AnarchAngel

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Bucket Garden

So a couple weeks ago Backwoods Home Magazine started arriving at Chez Byrne.

I had no idea that somewhere out there existed a magazine just for me and what I want to do. I've NEVER found a magazine that I wanted to archive before and keep forever and ever, and now I have two: Backwoods Home and Hobby Farms.

Beside an article on the Appleseed Project, the May/June edition of BH held an article on tub gardening. We figured, "hey, why not at least we could bring it in out of the weather" and decided to go the tub route with our herbs.

Herbs are integral to our cooking and nothing beats fresh (and cheap!) when it comes to herbs.

Yesterday I picked up our weekly order from Six Rivers Market (our local farming cooperative) including 7 started herbs and a hanging cucumber basket (for Chris's cucumber addiction).

A note about Six Rivers: any organization that allows me to place an order for fresh eggs from Windrush Farms instead of praying he still has some eggs left come Farmer's Market time is my friend. These chickens must eat like kings because the yolk to white ratio is HUGE. Too bad the kids have decided to eat boiled eggs like they're candy, because one of these days I WILL make creme brulee...

Sorry, got off track. Anyway...

I'd managed to get an 18 gallon rope-handled bucket (Wal-Mart, $5) and 2 cu ft of potting soil already, so today became assembly day.

First I needed to give the bucket some drainage (given the rain, a ton of drainage). Drills can be very, very handy.

From Waterfront House

Then I took the bucket over to the garage, where it needed all 2 cu ft of potting soil.

From Waterfront House

Although the article said to put the soil in where you'd keep the bucket due to weight, I didn't have a problem lugging it back up the stairs to the main floor where my herbs were waiting.

From Waterfront House

I transplanted all the plants to the new soil, making sure the roots were nice and loose. I then watered the herbs with water spiked with transplant plant food. Then I moved the whole assembly to the upper deck where the rain would finish the watering job.

From Waterfront House

Planted today:

Greek Oregano
Kentucky Colonel Mint (gee, I wonder if that was developed for cocktails)
Sweet Basil (from Bear at the Old Ice House Pizzeria in Hope, which has an awesome view and just as awesome pizza)

Oh, and my peppers and tomatoes? The habaneros are starting to bloom...

From Waterfront House

and the tomatoes are ALL in bloom.

From Waterfront House

Turns out I don't have such a black thumb after all.

Oh Yay, Flooding!

So as y'all know we're currently renting a house on a protected inlet of Lake Pend Oreille.

We've been blessed with an excess of rain, to the point that the yard is completely sodden and squidgy. We've even been blessed with our own fairy ring.

From Waterfront House

This is how the water stands right now:

From Waterfront House

Our dock is completely afloat (yes that's my canoe)...

From Waterfront House

the water is right up to the fence of what we call the lower yard...

From Waterfront House

our path to the dock is in danger of getting swamped...

From Waterfront House

and the lower yard has standing water from all the rain.

So imagine our joy when we read we could expect another 12-24" of lake level (no link because our local newspaper does not get the concept of online readership).

Due to the massive amounts of rain in the area all the local rivers and lakes will reach flood stage within a week. Nothing to be done, other than wait for the levels to go down (well that or flood Washington). Since all structures are required to be built above the flood plain (and most are built well above, including our house) it's not an emergency per se.

However, 12" will flood our lower yard, and 24" will reach the greenhouse.

So much for getting the lower yard mowed (for the billionth time in a row).

That being said, we don't begrudge the rain. For one thing, the plants are adoring the extra rain.

From Waterfront House

From Waterfront House

(I have no idea what these are, other than they're now as tall as me)

From Waterfront House

Plus we'll be planting corn next week and you know what they say about corn and rain.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Self-Determination Project

So what brings a family of four 1400 miles, 15 degrees latitude and 3 degrees longitude to suffer culture and climate shock?

The REAL question is why we left.

Friends and family remain in AZ. Only our immediate family and income source made the move, and the income source is portable. So why leave (almost) everything behind?

Independence, self-determination, over-reliance, terrorists, and the horrible death trap that is Metro Phoenix.

Let's start with terrorists and the horrible death trap.

Imagine a bustling metropolis with 5 million people. These people live on mostly infertile, unforgiving ground. Fresh water is almost non-existent locally, and is brought in via a canal from a river on the state border. A river whose water rights are bitterly disputed by no less than 7! states.

Now imagine summers so hot that temps regularly reach and exceed 120 Fahrenheit, and people often die during the summer when their ac goes out. Imagine the electrical load needed for 5 million people to run their ac at the same time, and the inability of those with solar panels to keep up with their usage.

Imagine the lack of farmland, and the need to truck in almost every bit of food from neighboring states.

Now imagine the water grid, electrical grid, or transportation grid failing. 5 million people either trying to make do, or desperately trying to get out of town.

If someone wanted to make a REALLY big statement against the U.S., Phoenix makes a damn good choice. God forbid a natural disaster, or Palo Verde going down, or, or, or...

Like I said, death trap.

This came home to me about a year and a half ago while taking Chris's mom grocery shopping.

She bought only enough food to last a week, all of it processed. That's not particularly surprising for her. Then I started paying attention to everyone else in the store and what they were buying. Boxed meals. Prepackaged meals. Convenience foods. Not in large quantity either.

I never particularly paid attention before. We could easily eat for a month off of our pantry from the basic staples I keep on hand. But these people... what would happen if the grocery store just didn't get stocked? What would happen if no trucks came? How long could they live out of their kitchen cabinets? Do they even know how to cook from scratch if need be?

What if the water stopped flowing? How much did they have on hand? Could they even survive a full day if the faucet didn't work?

What if all 5 million of us got stuck in such a situation? Mass rioting is far too mild a term...

So we decided we needed to leave the death trap.

But where would we move?

It would make no sense just to move to another metropolis. All big cities have the same problem; lots of people dependent on lots of infrastructure in order to function. Over-reliance on systems they don't understand and no concept of what to do when systems fail. Also, city-dwellers deal with huge portions of their lives and livelihoods being controlled by city officials through public utilities, codes, property taxes, and police.

When there's a police officer on every corner, people forget that they need to defend themselves, and settle their own differences. When there's a police officer on every corner, sometimes the officers forget that people CAN be trusted to defend themselves, and settle their own differences.

Speaking of settling differences... that job has been taken over by the compliance police.

Code enforcers. HOAs. Byzantine zoning restrictions. All there to make sure you fit in and *gasp* don't cause home values to drop.

Scottsdale has the weed nazis. Code enforcers who come around after every rain checking for weeds in "desert landscaping". Code enforcers with the authority to fine.

Other cities want complete control over what type of buildings go up, to the point of dictating historical districts and to what level a homeowner can restore their own building. Some cities have ridiculous parking statutes.

Many, many people use these mechanisms in order to "encourage" their neighbors to fit in.

"Independent" becomes a very bad word... an insult in fact.

We didn't want to live in that environment anymore. We didn't need to live in the city anymore, so why were we still there?

But if not the cities, where? There's 50 states to choose from, how do you make a choice?

Now was the time for research, and some basic exclusionary analysis.

We started with the basics: gun rights. If a state didn't have shall-issue, or Vermont-style carry they got dropped off the list.

Then analyzed based on climate. We wanted a climate where the summer wouldn't be too humid. Pretty much everywhere east of the Mississippi, except New Hampshire, got taken off the list. We also wanted a climate that wasn't too Fridgid. Wyoming and Montana went into the iffy list.

We wanted mountains, with varied scenery. No Plains states. Besides, the weather on the plains leaves something to be desired.

Politics. Anywhere run by a hugely liberal capital got taken off the list. This killed otherwise suitable states, like Washington and Oregon, and made once strong like New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Nevada iffy.

Ideally, we wanted a low tax, no income tax state; but we didn't exclude based on it... Just not enough choices without income tax.

Fresh water, preferably with large lakes and lots of rivers; and a good, accessible water table. New Mexico got taken off the list entirely, and most of the rest of the west got iffy (leaving only small pockets of suitable territory in most of the Rocky mountain west states).

That left us with parts of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, and Idaho.... Eastern Oregon or eastern Washington would have been good, but for the government in either state.

That is, until we decided we wanted to farm and ranch on a small scale.

 Fertile land became very important to us, as well as a suitable growing season. Climate became more important, and so we decided we wanted a certain temperature range, and erred on the side of heating in the winter rather than cooling in the summer.

One factor remained; Chris needed to be within 2 hours of a major regional airport.

This became a huge issue. Lakes, affordable land, and proximity to an airport? Good bloody luck...

Then one day while looking at maps, I saw it. Tucked in the northern portion of Idaho, one of the deepest lakes in the U.S., and the biggest lake in the Northwest. Lake Pend Oreille. 75% of the shoreline Federal land, and the land prices made us drool. National forest all over the place and some of the most fertile ground in the Northwest. Plus, the mountain ranges funnel warmer air through the area so the climate is more mild than we expected.

Oh, and an hour and a half from Spokanes airport.

And no one else seemed to notice it was there. And if they did, they dismissed it out of hand.

"Idaho? All those redneck nutjobs? Why the hell would you want to move there?"

"Aren't there all those white supremacists there?"

"Isn't that WAY in the boondocks?"

(some of these are direct quotes from Chris's family).

Well, we knew better than to believe the stereotypes, so we started asking around and researching.

Redneck nutjobs? Some, but a very small minority. Plus redneck isn't necessarily an insult in our minds.

White supremacists? Yeah, there's still a few around, universally hated and scorned.

Boondocks? Well, that is kind of the point.

We wanted independence. We wanted to be able to take care of our own needs. We wanted as much self-determination as we could manage without ending up on a terrorist watch list.

Oddly enough, most of north Idaho feels the same way. The county north of us is where Ruby Ridge happened, and most residents rallied behind Randy Weaver not because they agreed with him, but because they were so pissed the Feds crossed that line...

People here like to be left alone. People here like to do what they wish. People here also like the stereotypes, because it means fewer of those damn Californians moving in and trying to take over...

...They REALLY hate Californians...

Moreover, while everyone we talked to is more than happy to live here; they'd rather keep the area a secret, so it doesn't get ruined. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get flak for posting this, and letting the rest of you know what you're missing.

So we looked at local ordinances, distances, travel times... We weighed all of the data and decided on Bonner, or the southern portion of Boundary counties (just because of distance and travel time. The northern part of Boundary county doesn't have much in the way of improved roads.)

Bonner county has figured out that if they zoned just right, the Californians would stay away. Thus, the vast majority of Bonner County is zoned some variant of rural, with various minimum lot sizes (outside of an incorporated area, it's a minimum of five acres per dwelling unit), very few restrictions on land usage, and most importantly, the "right to farm" (oh and Idaho is right to hunt, fish, and trap state too). Their idea of water, mineral, and timber rights? If it's on your property, it's yours. If you can drill it, catch it, cut it... you can drink it, use it, sell it, whatever

As for government interference, here's a snippet from the "Buying Land" page from the OFFICIAL web page of Boundary County, the county to the north of us:
Another consideration is the economy of Boundary County, which is based predominantly on timber and agriculture production. Idaho is a "right to farm" state, meaning anyone who owns property has the right to use or lease that land for agricultural production; there is nothing the county can do to prevent a neighbor from going into the hog business should they so choose, even if the breeze blows your way. Much of the county is timbered, with over 75 percent of the total land base of Boundary County owned and managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the Idaho Department of Lands and the Bureau of Land Management. If you purchase a parcel because the trees on the hillside across the road make for a beautiful view, you shouldn't be disappointed should loggers move in later to harvest that timber.
Life in Boundary County is wonderful; the people here retain a strong pioneer spirit of hard work and of helping their neighbors ... most who call this community home would agree that you'll not find a more neighborly place anywhere else. But the rugged beauty and often harsh conditions mean that many of the amenities you may be used to are not available, and if you're used to relying on strict ordinances and regulations to help you resolve neighborly disputes, you'll be disappointed. It is the belief of the county that people who buy and build here have the right to build the home that best suits them; if the roof collapses under the weight of the snow, they'll know better next time. Conversely, you may build a beautiful home that meets the most stringent building codes while your neighbor may not; the county will not intercede on your behalf to make that neighbor live up to your standards.
I will admit that little snippet played a role in getting us to move here.

So now we live in unincorporated Bonner County on Lake Pend Oreille. We're surrounded by wildlife, farmland, and good neighbors (though, frankly, the neighbors are too close... But it's a rental. We can live with 1.6 acres and neighbors 100 feet away, in exchange for the lake and the dock... at least for now, until we can find a good piece of property)

But our plan wasn't simply to "get away from it all" and change locales. We're making a major life change in almost every way possible. We are going to push the envelope to see just how much of our own needs we can manage ourselves.

What does that mean? Simply, we're taking over our own electric, our own heat, our own water, our own defense, and as much of our own food as we can manage. We're taking over almost everything we need to live from the ground up. No more being at the end of the fragile "production to shipping to store to consumer" chain; we are going to BE the chain.

Our ultimate plan, is to be as independent as a family can be, and as self-reliant as a family can be. This is an exercise in seeing if one modern family can pull themselves out of modern dependence, stop being cogs in a really huge wheel, and make a go at (mostly) sustainable living.

This is not survivalism, or disaster preparation (though it doesn't hurt). We just got really bloody tired of not having enough control over our own lives, or responsibility for our own lives.

Renting in the area is just step one. The next major phase in our plan will be buying land; a large parcel with good soil, reasonable access, and a good water table (wells here average 40 to 80 ft, with a good rate of flow).

We'll be drilling a well, developing a spring (if we have one, we have 3 on our rental property), and setting up a water catchment system. The goal is to use the well as little as possible, as 34 inches annual rainfall (and 72 inches of snowfall) is more than enough for our uses.

We're going to be setting up off grid power (and hopefully getting grid tie with sellback), most likely a combination of solar, microhydro (if possible), wind, and backup generator. If small biodiesel converters become more suitable for farm use, we WILL be making our own diesel.

We'll be planting some crops, tending a garden, growing an orchard, and planting various berries and brambles. We may not be able to supply all of our own food (salt not being a crop) but we'll see how much we can manage.

Livestock will be entering the equation eventually. We have no qualms about raising our own meat (they are not pets) and we're pretty damn sure we can raise some good beef on the incredible pasture around here. We're also thinking of running domestic elk, both as meat for ourselves and meat to sell.

We want to know everything we use and ingest, and where exactly it came from. We want control of our water, food, and utilities.

We want to take care of ourselves... We want INDEPENDENCE.

This is the beginning of the Self-Determination Project.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Might Be a Survivalist If...

I'm sure y'all have seen the lists:

You might be a survivalist if:

You have a cookbook all about Spam.

You consider your extra large ham radio antenna as “broadband”.

You know how to cook leather.

You’ve ever been on a Soviet “Potential Threat” list.

SWAT has ever asked to borrow a few of your guns.

Your new girlfriend comes over for the first time, and when she walks into the living room, the first thing she sees is your CHL regulation Man sized target with 50 holes in the chest area.

Your dog has more Emergency Rations than 95% of the U.S. population.

You’re the first person at the gun range on Dec 26th to try out your new toys, and the clerk knows you by your first name

The local supermarket manager knows to go ahead and open up the back dock doors when he sees you on a shopping trip.

Your home and property are more secure and better lit than Fort Knox or Area 51.

All the local restaurants know to save you all their 5-gallon buckets on Mondays and Thursdays.

None of your vehicles have electronic ignition or pollution control.

You know the tail numbers of all the helicopters in your area.

The magazines on your coffee table include American Survival Guide, Guns and Ammo, Soldier of Fortune, American Rifleman, Shotgun News and 4 -Wheeler.

You welcome a “mild” El Nino storm because you know its going to fill your cistern.

The power fails in your local movie theater, and you pull your flashlight from your belt and show yourself the way out.

You use your Gerber Tool to cut your steak at a fine dining establishment.

Your knife collection has its own footlocker.
Etc., etc., etc.

We had our own prepper moments.

You might be a survivalist if:

* You've discussed how many rain barrels you need and where to build the water tower with your spouse.

* You receive a shipment of sea salt from Amazon, are thrilled to find it comes in a food-grade bucket and make plans to buy more.

* Your UPS guy, FedEx guy, and mail carrier all show up in the same day with various packages of tools and supplies.

Yes, this all happened today, why do you ask...

Cross-posted at the AnarchAngel

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our Nightly Show

Chris and I have somewhat of a daily ritual.

Coffee first thing in the morning. Work until lunch. Lunch at noon. Work until after the kids eat dinner. Sit down on the couch until its time to make our dinner.

Watch our resident bald eagle fish at dusk.

The "front" of the house is classic log home prow, complete with huge windows for the view. Our living room, kitchen, daylight basement, and loft bedroom all have views of the water.

Every evening, around dusk and without fail, a lone male bald eagle flies over our house, dives into the water, pulls out a fish, and disappears back over the house. It's an awesome sight.

Last night our bald eagle went through his motions, then did it again, and again, and again... a total of four fish made its way... somewhere.

So we looked up the typical breeding times, egg-laying times, egg-hatching times...

We don't just have a male bald eagle. We have a breeding pair, with eaglets. The nest is somewhere in the huge evergreens on the neighbor's property.

There are no pictures because 1. the trees are at least 90 ft tall, 2. it's someone else's property, 3. if the eagles are disturbed they're likely to nest elsewhere, and 4. we don't have a camera lens with quite that amount of zoom.

We're quite content though, with our nightly show.

Cross-posted at the AnarchAngel