Lilacs of course

The lilacs are fading.  Today for the first time since the bloom really got into full swing, there were not a million bees present.  Whew! There were things about today that have been difficult.  The day began too early (like 3:30 am, never got back to sleep really)  Gave up and got up before six.  Which I prefer, except when I don’t sleep.   First, sadly and beyond my comprehension, the people across the road had yet another animal struck on the road and it died.  Right in front of neighbors daughter.  I went out and stood by, being there until her dad got home to be there with her.  Sad.  The girl did not seem to see that she herself was too close to the road.  I wanted to be there for her and make sure nothing else bad happened.  The girl was so upset, the family has been really trying to keep the animals safe.  Heartbreaking and avoidable. Agh!

On another note, I am feeding two wild kittens.  One is fine, the other had never gotten enough milk from the mom and while it is still trying, well, I will help it try.  Tiny thing.  So at least that part of the day was uneventful.  Later on, this evening, I heard odd noises, my dogs were barking, but in a rather restrained way.  I went out the back door, and looked to my dogs.  First, there sat Kate in her kennel.

Uh oh, that isn’t right!!!

Above and behind Kate, (seeming in the tree) was one of the owlets.  Above Kate’s yard. To the other side was my other dog Molly (who did NOT think it was ok to have the owl so close.)  Kate.  Owlet.  Molly.  Really? I grabbed the camera and took this shot.  It was starting to get dark, and I realized that the parent owls were in the next tree, making concerned noise at the owlet.  From the back door, it looked like the baby was sitting on the spindly branches of the tree in the corner of Kate’s yard.  Kate by the way is an Anatolian shepherd.  I got her years ago as a goat guard dog.  She is unfortunately terrified of goats.  She is our pet dog 🙂  I wasn’t concerned about the owlet if it fell into Kate’s yard.  She would love something of ours to death before she hurt it.  She was unconcerned about the owlet, who once I got close enough to see, was in trouble.   Long ago, before we moved here, someone made those kennels.  Or maybe they were gardens.  At any rate, they are fenced below nicely, and above there are spans of 2″ chicken wire.  Very wide, not heavy wire.  It is not attached to the corner tightly any longer, as a deer did try to get in with Kate, or rather the dog feeder for the food.  Obviously in retrospect, it would be smart to remove the whole thing.

I think what happened was this.  When the owlet was going to land on the tree, it hit the upright wire which it didn’t see.  Then when it landed on the wire, the wire bent over and trapped the owlets feet.  It couldn’t push off because the wire was wobbling.  It couldn’t step out because the wire had bent over and trapped the owlets toes.   It wasn’t in a flap, it simply was standing there.  When I got closer, I saw it wobbling up and down and boy did I wish I  wasn’t seeing that.  I knew I would have to fix this.  It was trapped.  Owlet couldn’t stand on the wire long without hurting its feet, so there was that – and the fact it was getting darker by the minute.  The parent owls watched me. After a few minutes, the male flew off and the female perched on the neighbors electric pole watching me.  I fed the dogs as usual, water topped off.  Talked to the dogs like I do every day.  The owls have been witness to this many times.  I reason it that they all know my voice, admittedly I do talk to them 🙂  So, while the baby watched me from point-blank range – with the knowledge that the mom owl was on the ready watching me….I hoped they knew I was going to help.  I got a stiff forked branch and pushed it up under the baby’s feet.  Once it felt something solid, it jumped and flew off when it’s feet released.  Oh my.  We were all THRILLED 🙂 That could have been really difficult, but it worked out fine.

This photo I took a few nights ago.  The babies fledged and now sit in the dad’s day sleeping tree with one or both parents.

Owlet in May 2012

When I approached the owlet in the wire, I knew that I had to be successful at releasing it.  It is a daunting thing to know that somethings life is dependent upon your next decision and how you execute the solution.

To the owls credit, they must have thought it ok for me to help.  The baby didn’t even hiss or clack its beak at me.  Good thing, as there is just something about that noise that sets my nerves on edge.  I didn’t need any help in the nerve department!

So, the owls are safe, the kittens are fed and tucked in and I am way past sensible.  Goodnight all!

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