Scott Mehus is the education director at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minn.

Reading

“John Muir Ultimate Collection: Travel Memoirs, Wilderness Essays, Environmental Studies and Letters.” I really enjoy reading Muir’s work. I love his connection to our area by having started his lifelong fascination with the outdoors in Wisconsin. My family and I have traveled to the western United States numerous times. We enjoy visiting and reading about the places where Muir spent time and described in such vivid detail.

I recently bought the book “Enter the Realm of the Golden Eagle” by David Harry Ellis. This November, I was at a raptor research conference in Salt Lake City. The author was there, I got him to sign my book, and I had a nice chance to talk to him about his years of golden eagle research and observation.

Following

I like to check in on the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam at Canopy Lodge, put together by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in 2018 for the Year of the Bird. It is so rich in bird species diversity there, and you also get the chance to see occasional species that are wintering there that will soon be migrating back to Minnesota. Just the other day, I saw a prothonotary warbler, probably fattening up to get ready for the migration, maybe even to here in southern Minnesota.

 

Listening

I like most genres of music, even polka. A favorite polka band is Mollie B. All-time favorite group is The Mavericks.

 

Watching

I am always watching reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Gomer Pyle USMC,” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” For more current things I like to watch YouTube videos. I especially enjoy nature and travel vlogs. Some of my current favorites are Hike 734 and LesleytheBirdNerd for interesting bird-watching insight, and Pippi Peterson for her infectious enthusiasm. I also follow two Minnesota travel vloggers, Holli + Huckleberry, Road to Rechah, and Less Junk, More Journey.

I am watching 10 bald eagle nests on a daily basis to keep track of incubation stat times in our area. I am hoping to soon turn this into a regionwide citizen science project of monitoring.

Doing

I recently bought a Scandia Kicksled and love it. I learned about these when I was in college in Ely and then forgot about them until a recent staff visit to Dodge Nature Center. Our staff was able to take some out for a spin. I figured they would be great for my two boys for some winter exercise. With not-so -great levels of snow for snowshoeing the last few years, I thought this would be a great way to get out into the woods when there is very little snow.

I am an active bird-watcher throughout the year, but I always look forward to March when the waterfowl start returning because once they start arriving I know that it is just the beginning of a grand parade of migrants returning to our area.

I am looking forward to traveling in April to visit the Everglades in Florida again. Seeing the water birds, manatees, alligators, and all the other things we don’t get to see here in Minnesota is a special treat.

We always travel somewhere by Amtrak for our summer family trip. This year we will be heading to Maine to explore the coast, Acadia National Park, and to take some voyages to see whales and seabirds such as Atlantic puffins and common eiders.

Bob Timmons