Saturday 5 November 2011: "I am NOT cute!"
Looks can be deceiving, in the animal world as well as among humans.
Based on how I look, you'd assume I'm this strong, capable-of-anything-scared-of-nothing, badass woman - when in reality I'm the biggest wuss ever to have roamed the earth. And based on how this only 8-9" tall Eastern Screech-Owl looks, you'd almost think it was a cute little fluffy pet - when in reality it's a predator that can feed on animals as large as itself.
We went to the Kalamazoo Nature Center today. I had wanted to for a long time, it just never happened, and with this being the Last Sunny Weekend (according to the weather people) we decided to soak up some vitamin D ("for Delightful", I said ;))
Now, we were told it's usually rather quiet this time of year - but with our usual perfect timing, we arrived on the busiest day; hordes of boy scouts. It turned out to be a lot of fun though, because excited little boys wanted to talk to us about snakes and fossils and everything else that is fascinating when you are 8. The Beloved, having been an 8-year old boy, went down memory lane as we climbed Raptor Ridge and wandered Habitat Haven.
After a lot of walking and talking we went back to the Interpretive Center to see if we could locate the raptors we had been told about. First we found some Red-Tailed Hawks. A sign said that they are only there because their injuries makes it impossible for them to survive in the wild, which is always such a sad thing - though I jumped at the chance to watch these magnificent birds up close.
Then we went inside and I was twisting and turning myself in a position to take some photos of a Kestrel (also injured) a woman came up to me and said: "Would you like to take some photos of a Screech Owl?"
YES! How utterly fantastic!
She opened a small box and out came this gorgeous girl.
We went outside and I asked Meg a million questions and took a million photos. This E.S.O., like all other raptors at the center, suffered trauma - in this case brain and vision after being hit by a car, and now gets to hang out at birthday parties and educational presentations.
It was such a blast, and Meg, thank you again. I hope you like the photos; I chose not to use one of the silly cross-eyed ones - I went with one that shows her being decidedly un- cute :)
Then we came home and the mail lady left a card that I can pick up a package at the post office Monday. And I know what's in it! Yay!