Monday, 8:30 AM. 2 degrees F, up from –3 earlier. Wind W, light. The barometer is steady at 30.10 in. and the humidity is 82%. The sun rose through lengthy layers of soft gray clouds with pink linings, which have morphed into big cottony puff balls as the sky has cleared. There was no fog or haze on the channel or beyond Madeline Island, an indication that there is now little or no open water.
The birds have emptied the feeders again this morning, further evidence of the cold weather. They are busy pecking at scattered seeds on the deck and they will have to be satisfied with that until I get around to filling the feeders.
We stopped by yesterday to pay our respects to Jimmy Hudson. We did not stay for the service since the pavilion was jammed with family and friends and we did not wish to take up much needed space. I always think the community is sparsely populated until something like this occurs that draws folks from all around the neighboring towns, the countryside and the reservations (Jim’s heritage was Ojibwe). Tables were loaded with food and deserts but again, we are only acquaintances and did not want to deny those from further away a seat at a table. Most of the attendees were young people, many with children, and all the friends and relatives present were an obvious support for Hannah, Jim’s young widow. Jim’s dog was wandering through the crowd. There was much sadness for a young life so tragically lost, yet there was obviously great joy in the life that was led. As the Indians say, “Jim has walked on.”
After we left the Pavilion we stopped across the street at The Pier restaurant and had a nice lunch, then took a ride out in the snow shrouded countryside. On Little Sand Bay Road we spotted a huge bald eagle, resplendent in its adult plumage and sitting on a tree branch above the road. I stopped, rolled down the window and talked to him a bit but he just stared at me blankly with his fierce raptor eyes. He left his perch when I clapped my hands, first swooping heavily towards the truck and then soaring effortlessly away above the treetops with two or three flaps of his mighty wings.
It was a fitting salute to Jim and all who live their lives in communion with nature and its creatures.