June 24, 2012

Gone to the Birds

Last night was so peaceful after a day of high winds and blowing dirt.

Around 9:00pm, Malcolm had just come in and finished getting cleaned up, and I was getting ready to fix him something to eat, when his dad came knocking on our door. He was clearly excited about something, as he told me that Malcolm and I should come on the four wheeler to the bridge and to bring my camera.

Then he hurried off.

So, we rushed out the door, dressed in our evening comfies, me in flip flops and he in boots with no socks on. He trotted off to the barn to get the jeep, while I got distracted from my hurrying by a really pretty sunset (as seen above). His shouted "hurry up Sarah" brought me back to earth.

Down the road we went, dirt flying behind us (and above us, and past us, because the wind was still blowing a bit. So much for having cleaned up for the day). We saw four wheeler brake lights ahead in the evening gloom, and I got distracted again while admiring the silhouette of an owl just down the road from where the four wheeler was stopped.
hazard of photography in a bumpy jeep. It's a whole other ball game from trucking photography
I love owls. They are so elusive, we rarely see them but for maybe their shadow caught in the headlights as they float bast the truck windows after dark. I love to sit out at night and listen to them call back and forth. Mom and I used to sit on her porch and listen to them calling in the woods on the mountainside behind her house.

Malcolm's dad, by this time, was standing in the weeds up by the fence, and suddenly something started fluttering around by his feet.
this is his "get the hell away from me" face
Apparently Malcolm's dad had been out checking cows or something and had seen this not so little guy out on the road. And then Junior, in his "not quite together" flying attempt, had fluttered over into the fence. That was Mom or Dad that was on the electric pole down the road. She was calling out to Junior and clacking her beak at us.

Junior was carrying on his own percussion solo with beak clacking. He was doing his best to make himself look and sound threatening.
Isn't he gorgeous? Malcolm and his dad got Junior away from the fence so he'd not get tangled in it again, and as we backed off, he took off........for a few feet......and landed on a cluster of reeds.....right in the middle of the water of a beaver pond.

At this point, it was a little dark for photography, plus I promised Malcolm I wouldn't take pictures. We were going to just leave him there, but neither of us felt good about it. He clearly wasn't good at this flying thing yet, and to get out of the water, he was going to have to fly several yards and up instead of horizontally as seemed to be his only skill. There were steep banks on either side of the pond/creek. So my hero husband, rolled up his pant legs and took off his boots and waded into the calf deep water and black oozing mud (and our mud really stinks around here....really....it STINKS!) to fetch Junior out of the weeds and back onto dry land.

Mama was still nearby fussing over the interference so as soon as we got him away from a certain drowning, we backed off again. As we started to pull away in the jeep, we were admiring the adult owl on the electric pole. She suddenly took off and flew to some trees nearby. And when we looked back, Junior was gone. We were a bit worried he might have landed in the water again, but we couldn't see him anywhere. So we're choosing to believe he headed to the trees with his parent.

I spent some time this morning digging around on the internet looking at pictures of other juvenile owls for our area. This one, by all appearances is a Great Horned Owl, one of the most common species of owls. Did you know they are one of the only animals that will kill skunks? I thought that was interesting.
no comments please on the red reindeer pants! I might get in trouble for posting this and you'll only make it worse by teasing!

So, hawks, orioles, and now owls. I know your used to an overload of horse pictures when we're at home, but it looks like this time we've gone to the birds!

Speaking of orioles, the same day of the male oriole spotting, I was folding clothes in the bedroom and heard a beautiful bird song outside my window. I slipped over to peak out and see who was singing to me, and guess who was there? Mrs. Oriole! She wasn't as flashy as the Mr. but her song is oh so pretty! I'm thrilled to have a pair! They've been singing to me all week, and I've spotted the male several times. If you missed his picture, it's at the end of the following post, right after all the new baby hawk pictures are. And if you really need a horse picture fix and missed them earlier this week, they are in the post following the one following this one.


Jake said...

Pretty cool pictures. I love the wildlife we get to see living where we do.

Shirley said...

What a blessing to be able to help an owl. Good thing he didn't stay long in the barbwire, the one we rescued had torn the skin where the wing joins the body and it was a couple of days before he could flap his wings well enough to fly. I love the photo of the wing spread, he sure is a big baby!

MTWaggin said...

Completely jealous girl! That was so very lucky and we are very fortunate you had your camera with to share. I too love the owls although I've rarely if ever seen one except driving at night. Too kewl!

Pure Prairie Soap said...

This is my kind of reality show. Good job, Sarah! P.S. We kind of think an owl got my housecat. Think so?

TexWisGirl said...

i'm hoping me makes it! he's beautiful! glad you got to see him and help him from the fence!

small farm girl said...

Good thing you guys got him in time. He could have died there.

KarenTX said...

What a great "good deed"! OK, I can't help it...........LOLOLOL Don't tell Malcolm.