Posted by: atowhee | May 21, 2020


When I was a kid “Cooperstown?” had only one meaning.  Baseball.  There lived the spirit and some of the paraphenalia of gods and demi-gods.  Ruth.  Cobb.  Sisler.  Speaker. Mathewson.  Cy Young.  Walter Johnson.  Gehrig.  Ott.  Dimaggio. Wagner.  Traynor.  Even lesser names were carved in stone, inset with gold leaf.  When I was about six our female dog had a litter of pups.  Three were male–Tinkers, Evers and Chance I named them.  That was the only trio I had heard of.  I was far too young to have encountered the world of music and the Ames Brothers.  As I named those dogs we baseball savvy kids knew that soon Williams and Musial would surely be in Cooperstown.

Many decades latyer I got to visit.   Walked the hallowed halls of the baseball shrine.  Got onto the picture-book perfect little stadium there.  By then I knew more of the place.  The town named for a prominent family that included authors James Fenimore and Susan Fenimore Cooper.  Her book, Rural Hours, is a charming and informative look at her native region around Cooperstown…back 170 years.

What a noble gift to man are the Forests! What a debt of gratitude and admiration we owe to their beauty and their utility! How pleasantly the shadows of the wood fall upon our heads when we turn from the glitter and turmoil of the world of man!

You can click here to segments of the book.


Today we shall visit another Cooperstown.  This one is small, nestled deep in a maple in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  Camerawork by friend college classmate, Marc Reigel–yes I am not the only survivor of the Carleton Class of ’67.COOPERSTOWNCOOPERSTOWN2

This hawk was named in honor of William Cooper, a well-known naturalist of the early 19th Century.  His son, J.G. Cooper, moved west and wrote the first book on the birds of California, published—again–about 170 years ago.

The male Coop does most of the nest- building.  The female alone has a brood patch and does most of the incubation.  The male will replace her for short spells so she can leave the times two or three times daily.  Incubation takes more than a month, often up to 36 days.  Hatchlings are then in the nest about the same number of days, with female doing all the brooding and male hunting for the family.  Young females grow larger and are the last to leave the nest while their brothers fledge first.  They nest only once per year unless the first nest is destroyed early in the season.

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