Thursday, May 17, 2007

Girl power, Junior update

A good day.
I have come back to reality, doing my first program in almost 2 weeks, a great crowd of kids at an inner city Catholic school. It makes it so much more enjoyable and pleasant experience for me to talk with kids who have at least a small amount of respect for me and for the birds. And they learn so much more when they just sit and listen. Some schools I go to are like zoos, with no real stability in the kid's behavior.
Today, it was a group of 4th and 5th graders, very pleased to have me there. Nice.
A highlight, not just for the day, but for my education "career" in general:
A girl came up to me as I was packing up to leave, and she politely asked me if she could say something.
Girl: "You know, when I heard that someone was bringing raptors, I thought it was going to be a man talking to us. You know how girls are afraid of things like bugs and big scary animals? And boys aren't afraid of that stuff? I just thought it would be a man holding the birds."
Me: "Did I look scared?"
Girl: "No! You were COOL."
Me: "So, I guess girls and women can do anything they want to do, huh?"
Girl: (pause)..."Yeah. They CAN."
I think that may be the most perfect conversation I have ever had.

Baby beak
Finally was able to get a better look in the chickadee box, and there are four ready-to-fledge youngin's in there.
See the beak?
cold <span class=TRES egg" height="240" width="180">
I couldn't wait. I had to pull down the TRES gourd and count.
Four cold, perfect eggs. She will probably lay one or two more and then start to incubate.
I love how small they are. That egg is about the same diameter as my wedding ring.
Pete Rose plate
Most folks in Cincinnati think Pete Rose needs to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
(The "4256" pertains to the record he broke in hits, previously held by Ty Cobb)
Slugs are beautiful
I found a mammoth slug out by the mews at RAPTOR today. It was as big as my thumb.
I understand that most slugs encountered in North America have been introduced and they can make your garden look like Swiss cheese. But I think they are beautiful.

Air hole
They breathe through this hole in their mantle. I guess he was exhaling. Or belching.
I got this from Wikipedia:
"Some species use slime cords to lower themselves on to the ground, or suspend from them during copulation." they can make their own rappelling lines and sex swings?????

Sad news at RAPTOR...I was early getting the birds today, so I walked around, checking out the rehab birds to see if anyone new came in while I was gone.
The juvenile Cooper's hawk was laying on the ground in his mew, and had been dead for at least a few hours. He will be examined by our bird care director, to see if it can be ascertained what exactly happened. From what I hear from our more seasoned volunteers, Coop's are challenging to rehab. I wish we had one for education, but apparently they are for the most part too squirrelly to "man down". Coop's, sharp-shinned hawks...all too spazzy. Too bad. They would be fun.
Junior update: Junior will be "adopted" by a educational center in Illinois soon. One of their volunteers will drive down to pick him up. Cindy, if you are reading, I want to be there to say goodbye, okay? He and I did have that one magical night together, you know.

I AM happy
After my program today:
"I have fulfilled my duty as education prop. Please get the Hell out of my mew."


Liza Lee Miller said...

That conversation was perfect! You are an awesome role model!

If you like slugs, you have to meet a Banana Slug {click}

Trixie said...

Girl power and Pete Rose. Sheesh! I thought I was dreaming.

Lynne said...

Susan your conversation with the school girl gave me goose bumps! Isn't it wonderful the impact you had on that child? It won't end with her either- she'll pass it on to girls in her life too!!


NatureWoman said...

Phenomenal conversation you had with the girl - awesome Susan!! Girls CAN do anything and everything! Well, except for one thing!

Poor hawk. I hope you get to say "goodbye" to Junior.

Jayne said...

Indeed, I am so happy to hear that that little girl will probably be a Susan one day! :c) So sorry to hear about the Cooper's.

nina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nina said...

I'll bet you will reflect on this day many times--and wonder how much MORE kids take from their time with you, than the facts you share.