Monday, September 03, 2007

I need a hug. Seriously.

I am having an existential crisis today.
Why do good things die? And...
Why are some people mean for no reason?

We had a sad development at RAPTOR today. At some point last night, Elvis passed away.


Here we are together at a program earlier this summer.
Geoff, the girls and I were out doing a family togetherness day when I got the call from the renters at the RAPTOR house. They had found Elvis' body during daily feeding. We immediately headed home and I went on to RAPTOR to help out. We are certain that a small predator, possibly a weasel, chewed its way in to Elvis' cage and killed him. This is a very unusual occurance, and we have moved all the vulnerable birds into either the basement or to other cages for now, until we can reinforce the walls. Weasels are fierce animals who can chew through just about anything except for metal. They are very slim and supple, and they can squeeze into a very, very small space.
This is not something that RAPTOR will tolerate. Some serious modifications are coming.
As I drove back from RAPTOR, the tears were still coming. I moved into our exit lane, and as I did, a car came up along side me. A male voice rang out:
"Hey! Hey, buddy! You're an asshole!"
And then he gave me the finger.
Now, I hadn't cut anyone off, or tailgated, or anything. The only thing that I could think of that would cause someone to do that was my bumper sticker. I have a few on my car:
One says "Eat like a bird" with a picture of a golden eagle eating a rat.
Another says "Bird watching Rocks!"
The only one that I have ever had someone comment on is this one:
"My Peregrine Falcon is smarter than your honor student."
99.99% of people love that bumper sticker. I have been hailed at red lights by people who say that it has made their day. I see people smiling and pointing at it in my rear view mirror.
This is maybe the second time that someone has actually yelled at me about it. Both times: Young white males with a definite red-neck flavor.
Any other day, I would have brushed it off like a pesky fly. But I was in tears, driving with my elbow on the window and my hand over my mouth, just trying to get home to people who love me and understand how awful this day was.
Why are some people so thoughtless and mean and crass? Why do something intentional to ruin someone's day? Sure, they didn't know that I was mourning the loss of a special, wonderful owl. But damn it, was flipping me off really necessary?

I need a cleansing end to this post.

How about toad 'tocks?
Toad 'tocks

I don't approve of being this close to you
"I don't approve of being so close to you."

Mating monarchs
"Why don't you take a picture? It lasts longer. Oh..."

Some kinda flycatcher
Le sigh....this is a flycatcher, but I'll be damned if I can ID it. I don't know if I even give a damn right now.

Hummer on sunflower
Ever notice how juvenile hummingbirds will try to get nectar out of anything? Even a really parched sunflower.

Well, I don't know if I feel cleansed or not.
This is where you flood my comments section with warm words of comfort and friendship. Seriously. I need some love.


mon@rch said...

{{{{HUG}}}} I am soo sorry to hear about the weasel and I have also had my problems with those little guys! {{{{HUG}}}} And for sure your falcon is smarter than his kids!

Trixie said...

Oh man, Susan! Zoey is in tears, I am breathing deep. I wish I were there to help reinforce the walls, pour you a drink, anything.

And for that briar, I have one gesture....but it is censored.

Dave said...

****BIG HUG*** Hey, watch those hands. Seriously, sorry about Elvis.

Rachel said...

Awww, So sorry to hear about Elvis, he was such a cool owl. I was driving along a few months ago when the car behind me honked and sped up beside me and some teenage guy flipped me off for no apparent reason. We seem to have more than our share of random redneck jerks in this area, don't we? Hope you have a better day tomorrow!

The Swami said...

Swami & Swamette send a Major {{{HUG}}}. We also regret that some blood-thirsty beast has besmirched the good name of good weasels everywhere.

As for the person in the car that pulled along side you: I believe you may have misinterpreted his flipping you the bird.

At first Swami thought that "flipping the bird" might be a way of signaling that he,too, is a birder.

After extensive research, it appears that he was merely giving you the American Sign Language symbol for: "Hi, I am a stupid jerk."

Hope you have a better day today, and every day.

nina said...


Lynne said...

Oh, sweet Susan, I'm so sorry. I'm sending hugs and more hugs.
I don't know why there are such jerks in the world. I really don't.

Liza Lee Miller said...

I'm so sorry, Susan! All I can say about the jerk is that he dumped on your day -- no doubt but . . . he has to live with who he is 24/7 -- that sometimes comforts me when I'm faced with his type in my own world. Hang in there!

NatureWoman said...

Sending you a major dose of love and {{{HUGS}}} Susan. I am so sorry about Elvis. Big, long, tight {{{HUGS}}}. I wish I could deliver them in person.

Anonymous said...

Love, Love, Love to you Susan. Nothing but Love.

Wayne, PA

KatDoc said...

Oh, Susan, I am so sorry! What a terrible thing to happen to Elvis! He looked like he was so cool; I was hoping to get to meet him in person some day. And then to have some jerk top off your already bad day is such a nasty manner. So unfair.

Remember, what goes around comes around, and he will get his in the end. Just keep on being the sweet, giving person that you are; you are building up karma points.

{{{HUGS}}} to you and all the RAPTOR folks who do such good work.


Aside: I am doing an OOS thing this weekend ("Confusing Fall Warblers") at Lakeside, and hope to make a side trip to the open house at "Back to the Wild" in Castalia. I'll think of you and take photos.


Cathy said...

Oh, Honey! Massive {{{ Hugs }}}

Lord - what a completely awful day. And isn't just weird the way some evil people can sense when you're vulnerable and go for the jugular.

Your wonderful sense of humor and your devotion to our feathered friends (and the love of your family and adoring fans) will get you through this.

So, so sorry.

Beth in NYC said...

Poor Elvis, so tragic! I was hoping to read some day that he mellowed out a bit.

It's weird how things like this happen. I had adopted a kitten in February, the best cat I've ever owned, and two months ago he was diagnosed with FIP, which is fatal. I lost him two weeks ago and I asked myself the same thing you did. The little guy dd nothing but enjoy life and be happy. He did teach me about attitude in his short time - I think I can say I gave him a good home in return. My thoughts are with you and RAPTOR.

Mary said...

Oh, Susan, I am so late. SORRY!


Damned redneck bastards.

"My Peregrine Falcon is smarter than your honor student."...I love it.

I hope you are chilling by now...

HUGS AGAIN. Sorry about Elvis.

Hugs from

Melancholy Mary

Anonymous said...

Virtual hugs.

Don't let the f..., well, fornicators anyway, get you down.

RuthieJ said...

Mean People Suck!

It's sad when a good friend dies...I'm glad you have some good memories and pictures.

Anonymous said...

{{{HUG}}} I'm so sorry that Elvis died. He was my favorite program bird you show on your blog. I feel so bad hearing that the poor owl got killed by a mink. It makes me tear up just thinking about poor Elvis. :( I wish I could say or do something more helpful. And of course, I am SO sorry I didn't read this post 'till just now. *Wait a go, Helena, for not being there during her time of need* I know you loved him. He loved you, too, I know it. :)

Anonymous said...

BTW, love the bumper sticker--to heck with mean, stupid, jerks!

Zoey-Picaso sayeth hi! said...

Aww *hug* Sorry to hear Susan. Minks are notorious for picking off cats about our place. Give 'im a slap for me!