Opinion Columns & Blogs

What a way to start 2017

As I write this, approximately $200,000 worth of something or other is exploding across the bay. Two dogs, not trained in or aware of the Chinese art of “safe explosives” or “firecrackering,” are wetting the floor, and I’m sure Bill and Hillary are plotting how they can make our lives “richer” in 2017 by selling books and giving speeches on the art of losing with grace. And yes, Donald could take some lessons on winning with humility.

It’s a new year and I suppose it’s up to each of us to use our intelligence and do those things that will result in a celebration of the year ‘17 and anticipation of ‘18 where we can blow up some more stuff next year.

Taking the wrong path in life by making poor decisions can result in one being the victim of a “predator” (think of people who loan money or the bald eagle), sometimes requiring a leap of faith to rectify the situation or the year turns out to be a disappointment. I think the fireworks money could be better spent, but one has to celebrate in some way and firing off up firecrackers is better than blowing oneself up with alcohol, which can also result in a burn of sorts. The dogs don’t get it and neither do I, so it’s either buy them ear plugs next year or buy a mop. But I digress.

I really want to talk about the mouse and the eagles on the webcam. If you haven’t heard, a television station put a webcam in a bald eagle nest near Ft. Myers, Florida, enabling us to watch the “birth” of an eaglet (the other due any day), a petrified mouse and three fish definitely out of water. The female eagle is named Harriet and the male, who is her second “husband” is given a number, as most second husbands are, such as “No. 2”.

Harriet’s first husband met an untimely death at the wings of another eagle and as to whether or not he was the one who “feathered” the eaglets, we are not privy. Suffice to say, the drama of watching two eaglets hatch has captured the attention of national news, when they’re not covering something really important such as those nasty Russians influencing the outcome of the NCAA football playoffs by sending potential injury reports to Nick Saban (No wonder Alabama is so good).

Watching the nest is addictive because there are so many dynamics at work, and once in a while, as when a fish or mouse appears, you get an idea of how being in the wrong place at the wrong time can wreck your new year. Take the mouse for instance. You’ve heard that expression, “quiet as a mouse”? Well, this little guy was about a beak’s length away from Harriet and I think I read her beak when she said, “Welcome to dinner.”

Harriet, with her eagle eyes, kept looking down, one eye on the mouse, the other on the fish, as if to decide the surf or turf thing. He didn’t move for a long time and probably kept his mouth shut, supposedly in a state of shock at his misfortune and then, he just wasn’t there anymore. I have no idea how he got in the nest, maybe he turned right when he should have turned left — a decision a lot of guys make when driving with the wife in tow. But, I’m going to think positive here and picture the little guy suddenly coming to his senses and taking a leap of faith off the nest into the Ft. Myer’s night air. That’s exactly what I would have done but, like I said, he’s not in the picture anymore and for him, 2016 may have been a disappointing year.

The eaglet is screaming for food of course and doesn’t appear to care whether the food walks or swims, as long as it’s chewed. If this sounds familiar, you may have an older “eaglet” living in your basement. Oh, and very important. Harriet and husband No. 2 share the responsibility of sitting on the remaining egg, a habit we as parents would do well to learn to prevent our children from turning right when they should turn left. Check out the eagles at www.dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html

Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.