We used to live in Buchanan Dam, TX, a town of three hundred about ninety miles northwest of Austin in Llano County. Twenty miles further west of our house on highway twenty-nine, every fall a pair of bald eagles built a nest in a large tree about fifty yards from the highway. This used to be the furthest west nest (sorry about that rhyme) in the United States. The site became so popular, the county had to put in an off-road parking area.
What I learned both from that nest and reading is that eagles mate for life and that they return to the same nest every year to lay eggs. The most interesting fact I read was that every year they add to the nest—branches, straw, anything they find. After a few years, the nest may weight one-hundred pounds or more.
I write this because I’m going to Buchanan Dam today to eat lunch with a former neighbor and her book club. As I write this, I remember the sight of those adult eagles watching over those fuzzy headed little one that peeked over the edge of the nest from time to time, and I remember the sight of the adults against the horizon as they glided on the air currents.
And I also write this because I researched the eagles’ nests for my novel Second Chance Bride. In that romance, I was able to use the in to use the information about mating for life but that huge, heavy nest didn’t fit in. Not a bit romantic for the hero to share that information. However, I hate to let research got to waste so I’m using it here.
What happens to research that didn’t make its way into a novel? I blog about it.