Bald eagle

Feeling patriotic

The American Eagle Foundation has a fantastic web cam up right now, trained on a bald eagle nest at the U.S. National Arboretum. I've been watching it these past few days as two chicks have recently hatched in the 5'x6' nest. Here's one of the parents feeding a freshly caught fish to a chick with a tenderness that belies its size. 

I have a real fondness for these D.C.-based web cams. I was working in D.C. as a science technical editor in 2005 when the baby panda Tai Shan (better known as "Butterstick") was born at the National Zoo. Most all of my work colleagues tuned into the zoo Web cam to watch this baby panda grow up, and we'd shout over our cubicle walls whenever we noticed something particularly adorable. That Web cam was the perfect way to alleviate what was, to me, the soul-crushing tedium of technical editing. 

If you ever have a chance to visit the U.S. National Arboretum, do. It's a bit out of the way in northeastern D.C., but worth it especially for the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum housed in its grounds. I profiled the museum and its director when I was working as a garden writer for a D.C. newspaper, and that visit made me fall in love with bonsai and introduced me to viewing stones. If you can't visit in person, the museum has a beautiful Web site with photos of many of their amazing trees.