New bling for Wols

Just a quick post because I have these cute photos of the ESO babies we’ve be fostering down at Boyd Hill.. They’re not really babies anymore; more like goofy adolescents. A couple days ago they got an important lesson in life: Don’t trust people. Heretofore, we’ve been a curious source of food coming and going every day about the same time. Stretch and Wheezer, our rehab adults, have been conveying a message with clicking, wheezing and dive bombing us as they protect their adopted children but I think it really didn’t hit home until banding day. They didn’t like being snatched up, crated and manhandled one little bit. When I went in to clean them the next day they had uncharacteristically retreated to the far recesses of the boxes. From here on in they will only be offered live mice as food. Wheezer and Stretch have been temporarily pulled out of the enclosure because they are permanent rehab birds acclimated to ‘previously frozen’ delicacies. There’s a large escape proof pen within the enclosure and sad little mousies get tossed into this ‘killing field’ every evening as the babies learn. (There. I just defined anthropomorphism for you. The mousies are not sad. Briefly naive, but not sad.) Once we’re sure they have gotten the hang of feeding themselves- and they seem to be doing this just fine- they’ll be up, up and away. As I snapped a couple of last photos before they are turned loose, their expressions say it all.IMG_1649(If looks could kill…)

wol(This little guy, the only rufous morph in the lot, flew to the top of the mews and was never coming near a person again. That’s a good thing. You can see his new silver band under the edge of those feathers.)

IMG_1650(Scrunched down in the back of the box. I felt a little guilty snapping this picture but not enough to miss a final close-up opportunity.)

Abby has arrived safe and sound in Mexico to begin her grant research. Something about non-profits and ecotourism in a small rural fishing village. I was so crazed at the thought of her driving a rental car alone around rural Mexico I had trouble paying close attention to the subject matter as she explained it. While I’m worried about another bout of dengue fever, H1N1, kidnappings and so forth I noticed she’s happily posting away in Spanish on her website. Last night I dreamed I got lost on the way to a hospital operating room while looking for my children. I have no idea what that one meant. Tomorrow I’m teaching a felt workshop south of the Sunshine Bridge, Tuesday I’m going to take myself to the movies and Wednesday I have a little road trip planned for the day- you’ll definitely want to hear about that. So I’ll be around as I keep myself distracted between now and Thursday.

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11 responses to “New bling for Wols

  1. Wow, if looks could kill.

  2. Maybe the mousies aren’t sad, but I’m pretty sure they’re not too keen on being set down in the killing fields. When I was considering volunteering at the local raptor rehab facility in Washington, I was asked if I could “thump a rat”– Turns out they actually kill the rats before they feed them to their rescues. That was pretty much a deal breaker for me. I think your owls learn a lot from their experience. Really helps them hone those very important survival skills.

    Your plans between now and Thursday sound good. Interesting dream, vicki.

  3. Lovely owl shots–they always look so freaked out! (those eyes!!) I know exactly how you feel about Abby being in a foreign place, you bet I do. I’m still recovering.

  4. You know I’m just green with envy for all that close up action with the wonderful Wols! Ours were only around for a few days after leaving the nest. Even though I hear them at night and know they are close I really miss them being in MY yard.

    Our April spent last summer in Southern India and Malaysia. Her goal is to be there permanently after school. Yes, I can definitely relate to your fear. While I am very proud of her work and selfless choices, I worry constantly while missing her terribly.

  5. I love the owls – even if their looks could kill. The rufous one looks crazed!

    Pray tell what movie are you going to see?

  6. I’m not AT ALL happy about Abby driving around Mexico by herself. I liked it much better when she was mud wrestling for money. Didn’t she do a pool hustle, too? That girl is way talented. Despite my (and your) inclination for worry, I suspect Abby will always come out just fine.

  7. That Abby! Talent, beauty, and bravery.
    Yeah, I’d be a bit worry distracted too!!

  8. I would love to borrow one of those owls for my halloween yard display. Preferably one that would be good around the kids–you know, tolerate petting and stuff.

    Your daughter’s adventure reminds me of this show yesterday where these two movie critics agreed that Sin Nombre is the best movie so far this year. It’s about two young people’s journey across rural Mexico. I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest you shouldn’t see it until Abby is back in the good ole US of A.

  9. Hi Vicki – I’m a long time lurker/reader of your wonderful blog. I live in Clearwater, and I have 3 of those owls living in my yard. What kind are they? Every time I come home I look up in my big camphor tree to see where they are perched that day (and try not to park underneath them….they seem to poop A LOT). We had four of them, but I’ve only seen three of them lately. They are so funny – they will turn their heads almost completely around to follow me as I’m staring up at them.

  10. Bless the beasts and the children.
    Nyssa has arrived for one short week… and a lot of stuff crammed in.
    Stephen also arrived for about three weeks… four if you count the side trip to DC for visa from Japan and to NYC for voice coaching.
    Good luck to the owls…. they are adorable and if they need a really, really big field mouse, send them this way.. we have one out in the preserve. I miss the hoot, hoot, hoot of the owls in our forest in Mississippi. Here it is just the song of the tree frog.

  11. Favorite post from you today. (hee hee).

    Hello to Abby. I don’t like where she is and what she’s doing. My own child is safely ensconced here within a 25 mile radius for the time-being, so I can worry about yours for a while. Wish I was there with you to hit the movie and the felting class and the driving adventure and to take photos of the Wols. LOVE them.

    *sigh* BIG weather up here today. Severe thunderstorm warnings two counties over. It may or may not reach here.

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