Monday, October 15, 2007

National Eagle Center, Wabasha, Minnesota

Lovely carved duck


Bruce and Harriet

Photo with Angel

Majestic Angel

Yesterday my friend, Dr. Joanie, and I took a drive down the beautiful Highway 61 from Red Wing to Wabasha, then crossed the Mississippi River to Nelson, Wisconsin, and drove north on the Wisconsin side of the river and crossed back over to Minnesota at Red Wing. It wasn't a nice day, weather wise, but it was the only time that Joanie was available. She had never been to that part of Minnesota and was very impressed with the topography.

We stopped for dinner at a nice restaurant on the shores of Lake Pepin in Lake City. Our table was next to the windows. Out on the dock sat about 100 sea gulls. In the distance was a paddle boat, giving a tour of the lake. It is a lovely setting.

In Wabasha we stopped at the new National Eagle Center. What a beautiful building! Initially we were only going to browse through the gift area, but when I noticed the live eagles across the room, Joanie said, let's pay the admission and tour the building. I was so glad we did. They have 3 rescued adult eagles there, named Harriet, Angel, and Columbia. A lecture had just begun that we were able to join. The gentleman giving the lecture is a Viet Nam vet named Bruce. He had a vast knowledge of the habits of eagles and the laws surrounding their protection.

Bruce told us Harriet posed for the photo used on the new Minnesota veterans' license plate. He said she has traveled with him to many places in the United States, including the Veteran's Hospital in Minneapolis, where he encourages many of the veterans there who are in a bad way.

During the lecture, Bruce left the room to get Harriet and brought her back, explaining many more things about her. He gave her a dish of food, and the first item she chose was a dead white rat! We watched her eat about half of it and then I said to Joanie it was too much for me. So we excused ourselves.

Out in the great room another volunteer had Angel on his arm, so I had my picture taken with her. I found the displays informative and very well done. The gift shop had some beautiful works of art, including carved birds. Maybe someday I'll splurge for one.

Over in Nelson, Wisconsin, I bought a small pumpkin and acorn squash from a little stand in a yard. We went to a local restaurant for a little dessert before heading north on the scenic route 35. Some of the color there was nice. We didn't stop to see Laura Ingall's birthplace at Pepin, but saved it for another time.

No comments: