Thursday, October 15, 2009
When you crash into a studio window, a leaf in the beak is a comforting thing.
After hearing a tremendous Ka-BANG! in our house this morning, I finally found the source outside and saw a big bird on the ground. From up on the deck, it looked like a big pile of feathers. In a lump. Uh-oh.
When I got down there, I discovered it was this lovely owl. On its side, eyes closed, but still breathing. I've never seen one so close before, and yes, I did have to touch it--I couldn't resist. With gloves, and only very gently, but the poor thing didn't even notice. It was completely knocked out at this point.
Still unsure as to whether it would live or not, I ran back inside & called the Vermont Wildlife Rescue Association. Which is run on a shoestring by Carol, her family and a few volunteers. When they can afford to be open. I found her number just two days ago when I found the article I'd clipped from last year's paper. That was lucky.
Keep in mind that this was barely 8 a.m. (for me, that's an ungodly hour.) Nevertheless, Carol kindly gave me the number of someone more local who handles raptors, but I had to leave a message.
Back outside, I found the owl sitting up, holding this giant leaf in it's beak. I'm really not sure how or why, since it's beak was empty when I first saw it. But there you go. Leaf = security blanket, perhaps. This owl & I sat about 8 feet apart for maybe ten or more minutes, and it seemed to take no offense at my quiet talk.
A blinking owl is a fantastic, marvelous thing. Every now and then it would sort of hang it's head down a bit, so I would too, and we copied each other for a little bit. Or I flatter myself to think that we did, anyways. Later, when it had flown up into a tree, I was on the phone with Craig (the local raptor guy) and he said it probably had one heck of a headache.
Arkonbey asked if this is going to make it's way into my drawings somehow, and yes, that will happen one way or another.
I wrote a thank-you to Carol, and if her association is still up and running, I'd love to try and lend a hand now and then. To work up close with a variety of creatures?! Yes please! Even if it means prepping raw meat. I can probably handle that. It would be great to get some close-up understanding of wildlife.
VINS down in southern VT allows for photo sessions with some of their birds, for a fee. Perhaps this could work for Carol's organization too. I'm a bit excited, can you tell?
Well, too late to be getting into the studio tonight. But it was worth it. I harvested the last of our basil, and I posted about "our" owl. Tomorrow, back to the drawing.