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The Daily Bucket is a place where we can post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings in our neighborhoods. Birds, bugs, blossoms and more - each notation is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the natural patterns that are unwinding around us.
It's grey in east central Iowa today. Right now it's about 48 degrees. Over the next few days it's supposed to warm up. Jim plans to golf on Monday. Not bad for early December!

We went for a walk this morning. Jim asked where I wanted to go and I shrugged. We head out and cover one of about 5 different 2-mile loops almost every time. I said, "We are boring. We need to make more effort to do something different now and then."

So we did, not BIG different, but a little different. Today we headed out the back door to the new walking path the city put in over the summer. It heads west, while we usually go east. The first part of the path is through trees, some old and very large, that the city preserved when they cut through. Less than a half mile out, the landscape opened up.

In the open it was cool, damp, and a little breezy, slightly biting but not bad when you're moving. We turned south across a field. The university owns the property we crossed, and the radio tower we approached. The tower is enclosed in high barbed-wire fencing and nestled among a group of small buildings. Once we got that far, we stood below the tower, a metal cage rising into the sky. We contemplated climbing the ladder inside, whether it would be "easy" or difficult, something we both thought we couldn't know unless we tried.

From there we headed back to the street. A Cooper's Hawk rested in a tree until we got quite close. It was large enough that at first we weren't sure of its identity, but it took off in flight. This was no red-tail.

A few feet farther, my attention was caught by something to my right, higher in the sky. It was a bald eagle, the first I've seen this season. They frequent this area and winter over, with decent fishing at the dams along the Iowa and Cedar Rivers. Also the Coralville Lake and nearby reservoir attract them.

We continued walking, about the same distance as always until we got home.

Now we have many "regulars" at the feeders and moving up and down the trees. From where I sit, I can see both downy and hairy woodpeckers, cardinals, house finches, nuthatches and chickadees. Squirrels have been very active lately, as they are today.

What natural wonders are happening in your part of the world?

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