The Superior Express -

Editor's Notebook


As this reporter and his wife were leaving for work Saturday morning, Rita noticed a large bird sitting in a tree east of the Windstream telephone building.

We stopped to scrutinize the bird. It's body appeared to be shaped much like that of an eagle. But eagles rarely enter into town. They are more often found near the river but with their numbers on the upswing, we wondered if it could possibly be an eagle.

Eagles are birds of prey. They often follow the snow geese and feed on unlucky geese. The cell phone tower located near the west edge of the phone company property was providing a roosting place for a number of buzzards. Perhaps, we thought, the eagle had come into town hoping to feast on a buzzard.

I got the field glasses and we both studied the bird. We couldn't see an eagle's distinctive head but the body looked like an eagle. I returned to the house for my longest telephoto camera outfit. I took a picture from my yard but I needed to be closer.

How could I approach the bird without causing him to fly. I was sure walking was out of the question and I couldn't carry the camera and ride my bicycle. I remembered the time I tried to take a picture of an eagle perched near the top of a Republican River cottonwood tree. That time I used my automobile as a blind and stopped on a public road. The eagle was used to automobiles and didn't mind the vehicle but each time I pressed the shutter release button the accompanying sound disturbed the bird causing it to stare at me. I would hold motionless, the bird would calm and I would snap another photo.

Saturday morning I was already as close to the unidentified bird as I had been that Sunday afternoon about 40 years ago. Since the morning Fourth Street traffic was zipping by the resting bird, we decided to use a vehicle for a blind. We backed the newspaper's Blazer out of the garage, I drove while Rita handled the camera.

We stopped west of the telephone building and Rita took a picture. We didn't seem to be disturbing the bird and I decided to try for a closer vantage point.

I circled the block and parked west of Ray's Auto. Rita aimed the camera and depressed the shutter button. We had our picture but we also knew the joke was on us.

From our Dakota Street vantage point we realized we had been photographing a lone vulture.

For reasons not known by us, the vulture had apparently been excommunicated from the flock. He may have been traveling with the flock but he certainly was not roosting with the flock on the cell phone tower.

We were had. As we returned the Blazer to the garage and the camera equipment to its basement storage area, we joked about being the recipients of an early April Fool's Day Joke.


Sunday and Monday were two beautiful spring days but late Monday night a cold wave accompanied by winds forecasted to reach 60 miles per hour blew in from the northwest.

The wind kicked up a lot of dirt and sand making it nasty to be outside. Comments left by motorists on a weather bureau website indicated those travelling in the country encountered places where blowing dirt and field residue reduced visibility to zero.

It was about 11 p.m. and I was walking my bicycle home. Certainly didn't want to attempt riding it.

As I approached Fourth Street, I saw a cat dart out from a protected area north of the restaurant. I was in a protected area and stopped to watch and rest. The cat apparently wanted to cross Commercial Street but was surprised by the wind and reversed course, only to try repeatedly before making it to the shelter offered by the Superior Auditorium.

As I watched the animal's antics, I reached for my camera thinking I might be able to capture on video the nastiness of the night. I had carried and not used the camera all day but when home for supper I had taken it out of my pocket to recharge the battery.

Consequently, I can write about the crazy cat and the wind but I do not have pictures to document what I saw. Elsewhere in this paper we do have a picture of a wind deposited decoration at Evergreen Cemetery.


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