Day 6: March 20, 2011
Buzzards Redux
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A short and obviously worthwhile drive off of the direct route to breakfast brought me to this shoe tree near Bainbridge, Ohio. This isn't the typical shoe tree where pairs of shoes are tossed into the branches to dangle high in the air. Here the shoes are nailed to the tree trunk with the highest pair at an unscientifically-guessed-at fifteen feet or so.

Burton, Ohio, is another hub on the Maple Madness Drive-It-Yourself Tour and the pancake breakfast at Burton's Century Village Museum is one of the biggest. Breakfast is served in the white building to the left in the first photo. I was greeted by Janet who explained the bill of fare and informed me that the maple syrup here was the best. It is made tin the village's own sugar house but that's not well known since the sugar house hasn't been open to visitors. It probably will be next year though. I went for a mix of plain and apple pancakes.

Historic buildings such as the tin shop and saw mill fill the village though the only one open today was the Crossroads Store. A big sale was in progress at the store to move things out in anticipation of restocking and reopening in May.

Before he became president of the US, James A. Garfield was president of Hiram College and the school dedicated a statue of him in May of 2009. But, during the night following the dedication, the statue was beheaded in a life-imitates-Simpsons incident. The head was soon recovered and reattached but reportedly now has a tracking device embedded in case it goes missing again.

This is the big day back at Buzzard Roost. Both weather and crowd are much improved over Tuesday. Looking at my picture with Official Buzzard Spotter Bob Hinckle, I suddenly realized that I'm well on the way to becoming Will Greer.

Folks from the Medina Raptor Center had a couple of buzzards (a.k.a., Turkey Vultures, Cathartes Aura) on hand so we could get up close but not too personal.

The Raptor Center brought some other birds, too. There is a Horned Owl, who can almost but not quite turn his head around, a Barn Owl, an American Kestrel, and a Red Tailed Hawk. That Kestral is so small it deserves a close up.

Boy Scouts were demonstrating their skill across the road and, yes, there were Girl Scouts there selling cookies. Buzzards were telling stories and getting tossed into nests and Buzzard Bingo was being played inside a tent. At 1:00 the Buzzard Boilers came on with some good sounding old time music.

In the midst of all these activities, buzzards continued to be spotted and recorded. In the hour and a half I was there, the count increased by 22 and there were several other birds spotted as well. From the Roost, I headed to my second pancake breakfast of the day and then toward home. The buzzards are back in Hinckley, I'm back in Cincinnati, and spring is on the way.

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