Saturday, November 18, 2006

Birds, Christmas trees, dead animal heads

I had a nice, encouraging program today at a library in Cincinnati. It's the oldest library still standing in the city, and it's beautiful. But it's also smack dab in the middle of a really rough part of town. The kids were precious, and I could tell that they had rarely, if ever, been exposed to things from nature (other than pigeons and roaches). I hope I reached at least one today.

While dropping off the birds, I saw a flock of robins feasting on some berry bushes at RAPTOR. I love my camera...I was pretty far away when I took this. And look! The robin on the right has his mouth open.

Since the photos from a few days ago were not so great, I got another shot of Earl, the Devil's Henchvulture. She is pretty cute, even if she is crazy.

There was some housecleaning going on at RAPTOR today. We are almost to full capacity, and some birds needed to be moved to other mews. Now, all the program birds are in one barn, and the rehab birds are in the other. Isis, who I think never has shared a mew before, is now in with Two Socks and Scarlet.

Check out the back of Isis' can see a black spot, the only place she has pigmented feathers.

Isis: "Hey, what are you doing in my mew?"

Two Socks: "Um, nooo...what are YOU doing in MY mew?"

When I picked up the birds, Isis and Scarlet were sitting together. When I came back a few hours later, they were still sitting close. I guess girls have to stick together.

How do we tell Two Socks and Scarlet apart? Two Socks is smaller and darker.

I took Bailey back to Mom's tonight, and stopped to see my sister-in-law and nephew. (My brother's family lives next door to my Mom). And Anne, my SIL, has her freakin' Christmas tree up already. She always does it early, but most years she at least waits until Thanksgiving.

My brother, Steve, is the great white hunter in the family. And this is the only buck that was pretty enough to get stuffed. An 8-pointer! And it sure tasted good.
Before all the vegetarians get all nuts, just know that deer need to be culled, because we have made such a paradise for deer in our country. All the pretty lawns and golf courses, the rather smart decision not to allow hunting in those areas, no natural predators, and you have a deer population explosion. Is it better to kill the animal quickly, or allow them to crumple up on the hoods of our cars and die slowly of ruptured organs?
Okay, I don't want to rant...but if this was Julie's blog, boy howdy we would be stirring the pot.


The Swami said...

We have noticed that your blog has provided evidence that some scoff-laws have put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. That is an offense that is [well, should be] punishable by public flogging.

Attention animal-lovers. The deer photo is somewhat misleading. The deer is actually in very good health and is merely standing on a platform with its head looking through an opening in the wall.

Great photos of the birds, including Earl the Girl.

Anonymous said...

Hey Swami- Seeing Earl's pretty white beak, I think she should be called "Earl the Pearl"!

Susan- we are big deer hunters here in Minnesota, the population is high and there is alot of venison eaten in our family!
Glad you're loving your new camera. I think Earl is very photogenic and wants to be photographed OFTEN! Hmmm... Birdchick is doing a "Disapproving Rabbits" book... what about "Lovely Vultures"??!!?? or "Pearly Earl the Vulture Girl"!!??

-llm. said...

Christmas trees before Thanksgiving. Isn't that against the law? I'm stunned. And, the sad thing is that I know it isn't an isolated incident. I drove home in the dusk last night and saw a Christmas tree in someone's window. I was goingt to drive by tonight and take a picture of it. Flummoxed by the temerity of putting up one's tree BEFORE Thanksgiving. I think this means that the retailers are winning.

The Swami said...

I was doing fine, no need for extra meds,....UNTIL I read -llm's post: "the retailers..." ARRRRrrrrgh..."

Some of those knuckle-headed, money-grubbing swine (am I getting carried away) put up Christmas [oops, they generally call them "holiday"] decorations in October or earlier. Yesterday Swamette and I had an "interesting" retail experience. We went into a Macy's to look for shoes for Swamette. Locally this store used to be Shillito's, which became Lazarus, which then became Macy's.

The Lovely Swamette has some difficulty finding comfortable shoes since she has somewhat WIDE feet, that I believe came directly from the old country (Calabria, Italy). Still, Swamette had often been able to find a few wide styles at Lazarus. This was apparently the first time she had looked for shoes there since the conversion to Macy's. After looking at most of the displays and finding nothing, Swamette asked a lady who worked in that department if they had any styles in wide.

The saleslady said that Macy's [at least at Dayton Mall] does not carry wides, only mediums. This was a case where the person said something, but their demeanor added an entirely different, additional meaning. She seemed to be saying: We are too upscale to cater to peasants with wide feet. If you are going to shop here you should either have medium feet or have enough money to get your feet made into mediums.

Well, I guess that we will have to go back to getting Swamette's shoes from a blacksmith.

Have to stop now to do some deep breathing and relax.

Mary said...

I agree with the retailers winning. I've seen a lot of Christmas decorations here last week! I'm a Christmas tree freak but I make myself wait until around the 5th of December to start... That was a lovely tree you photographed. The narrative between those birds claiming space was funny! Great post, Susan.

Janeyms said...

Susan I could not agree more with you on the hunting deer problem. I love animals but a few short years ago I drove all the way across country. While I saw bison, mule deer, antelope, coyoyes, wolves and elk I didn't hit so much as a field mouse...I was home three weeks and a huge buck decided that he wanted nothing more than to kill my Yukon (should we call that a Yakon, Swami?)and proceeded to jump on it from the side of the road. No, I did not hit him, he hit me and my auto was all but totalled to the tune of $6000. Then to make matters worse I had to call a friend to come put him down because while he ruined my car he was only broke a front leg and I had to stand there and watch him suffer. It was one of the worse experiences of my life. So I now say, hunt if you will eat it...I happen to love venison now! I can it in Lipton onion soup mix and old bay seasoning...LOL...and think about the big one that didn't get away every time I enjoy a bowl of venison stew.

KatDoc said...

While the ol' Doc agrees that Christmas decorations should be illegal before Thanksgiving, she feels that Christmas decorations before HALLOWEEN should be a hanging offense.

Every year, I have to drive by The Most Tacky Yard in the Universe. The small yard is cluttered with plastic deer, gaudy lights, blow-up snow globes, lighted snowmen, Santa and elves, etc., etc., etc. They start putting this stuff up in mid-Oct and light it around Halloween.

The electric bill alone must be astronomical, and I cannot figure out where they store all this cr@p during the off-season.

The only good news is that the people who lived across the road and who competed annually for the title of Tackiest Yard have moved. With the decrease in lights, small planes have stopped mistaking the road for a landing strip.

The bad news is, deer fatalities are on the rise.


Dave said...

Your turning into a good photographer Susan. Tell me more about Isis.

NatureWoman said...

You're getting some really excellent photos! Thank you for sharing so much about the birds with us. Earl is beautiful! Yup, us girls do have to stick together, don't we? OMG - I can't think about X-Mas until after Thanksgiving - I enjoy Thanksgiving *way* too much to think about anything else. A buck head on the wall *is* much better than as a hood ornament on my vehicle! It drives me crazy having to constantly watch for deer this time of year.