11 months ago

Creek Bend Estates February 2018

Against Benjamin

Against Benjamin Franklin’s wishes, the Bald Eagle became our national symbol in 1782 and by 1970, they were nearly extinct. There are several reasons for this. It was legal to hunt eagles for sport and the long-held belief that eagles picked up lambs and children with their talons was another reason to kill the birds. Since the diet of the eagle is mostly fish, eagles were killed to protect fishing grounds. The use of pesticides proved disastrous to the survival of the eagles. The chemicals collected in the fish that were eaten by the birds. These chemicals severely limited their ability to reproduce and when they did produce, the egg shells were very thin and weak. The chemical DDT was restricted in 1972. When restrictions were put in place and DDT was banned, the eagle population began to rebound. It was removed from the US government’s list of endangered species in 1995 and went from being classified as endangered to threatened. In 2007 it was de-listed and has been assigned a risk level of “Least Concern.” Bald eagles mate for life but recent research suggests there may be an occasional “divorce” and if a mate dies, an eagle will “remarry.” They work together to construct the largest nest of any North American bird which they return to every year. The work to build the nest is what actually “cements” their bond. Typically the nests are 5 to 6 feet in diameter and 2 to 4 feet wide and since they tend to use the same nest every year, the nest can continue to get a little bigger every year. They prefer to nest in old growth at least 65 feet high, near open water and away from human habitation but have been seen in populated areas. Because the Bald Eagle is our national symbol, it has been given protection by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Act prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior, from “taking” bald eagles. Taking is described to include their parts, nests or eggs, molesting or disturbing the birds. The Act provides criminal penalties for persons who “take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or any manner, any bald eagle ... [or any golden eagle], alive or dead or any part, nest or egg thereof.” In the winter of 1999, a pair of Bald Eagles decided to make The HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR NATIONAL SYMBOL? By Cheryl Conley, TWRC Wildlife Center Woodlands their home. Normally staying away from populated areas, these eagles didn’t seem to mind the noise and traffic in the area. The eagles have returned every year and have fledged 22 eaglets. The Woodlands Development Company in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service developed a habitat conservation plan protecting their nesting area from development. FAST FACTS • The only difference in appearance between the male and the female is that she is bigger. Eagles have an average wingspan of 6 to 8 feet. • Bald Eagles can live up to 35 years of age. Of course, there are older Bald Eagles on record. • During courtship, eagles will soar into the air, chase each other, fly upside down, lock talons and take death-defying spirals back to the ground. This is done with both potential mates and competitors. Timing is everything! Poor timing can result in death for both birds. • They lay 1 to 3 eggs and incubation takes about 35 days. The eggs hatch a few days apart in the order they were laid. It can take 12-48 hours for them to hatch. • It’s not uncommon for the first-born to kill the smaller one. Parents do not intervene. • 40% of young eagles don’t survive their first flight. • They reach full adult size at 2 months. Eaglets fledge at about 3 months but it takes 4 to 5 years to become an adult. This is when they get their distinctive white plumage. • The site of their first flight is where they will return to nest and raise their young. • Once fledged, the young ones will remain around the nest for up to 9 weeks learning to fly and hunt. The parents will continue to feed them. • Bald Eagles have 7,000 feathers. TWRC Wildlife Center is a 35-year-old 501(C)(3) organization that rehabilitates injured orphaned and displaced wildlife. Admissions average 6,000 animals/year. If you have wildlife questions or would like to explore how you can help, go to or call 713-468-8972. Floors Mecca Your Neighborhood Flooring Store Work Truly Personalized Specials on Wood, Carpet, Tile, Countertops, Fireplaces & Full Bathroom Upgrades 9006 South Fry Road • Katy, TX 77494 832-913-6327 $ 200 OFF Purchase over $2,500 With this ad. Not applicable with other specials. 4 February 2018 | Community Newsletter

Katy First UMC Ash Wednesday Service February 14, 2018 -8 AM Evening Service & Ashes 7 PM 5601 5th Street— and egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture almost comes to a simmer and thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook fettuccine in boiling water, stirring occasionally, until nearly cooked through, about 7 minutes. Drain. Stir parsley, 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano and cream mixture into the pasta. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for a few minutes until thick. LIGHTER CHICKEN FETTUCCINE ALFREDO You could make this on National Fettuccine Alfredo Day February 7 th ! INGREDIENTS: 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 4 cloves garlic, minced ground black pepper to taste 2 cups heavy cream 2 egg yolks salt to taste 1 pound fettuccine 1 sprig chopped fresh parsley 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided DIRECTIONS: Combine chicken breasts and chicken broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 5 minutes. Turn breasts, cover and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit with the cover on for 15 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from the broth and set aside to cool, reserving the broth in the saucepan. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size slices. Return the chicken broth to medium heat and cook until reduced to 1 cup. Stir garlic, black pepper and heavy cream into the reduced broth; bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks in a bowl until smooth. Beat 1 tablespoon of the warm cream mixture into the eggs until thoroughly incorporated; repeat until about 1/2 cup of the warm cream mixture is used. Whisk the warm cream Community Newsletter | February 2018 Fold chicken and 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano into the pasta mixture to serve. Source: CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES You could make this on National Cream Cheese Brownies Day Feb. 10 th ! INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips 5 tablespoons shortening 1 cup white sugar 3 eggs 3 tablespoons cream cheese 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1/2 cup chopped almonds Cream Cheese frosting - optional DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 9 inch square baking pan. In top of a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and shortening, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and mix in sugar, cream cheese and eggs. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in almonds and pour the batter into pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan before cutting into bars. Add Cream Cheese frosting if desired. Source: 5