Most education programs I do for RAPTOR, Inc are fun. Schools, churches, Cub Scout meetings.
Some programs, however, get me jazzed for weeks at a time. Yesterday's program was one of those.
I got an email from Jim McCormac a while back, asking if I would be interested in coming up to Columbus to do a program for the ODNR's Take A Child To Work Day.
Would I be interested? In doing a program? At the O D N R ???????
(I liken this to a Catholic being asked to come visit the Pope.)
Yeah. Whatev. I'll do it, I said. (Gotta maintain some coolness.)
Jim informed me that all of the kids had signed up for my show.
Seventy-five kids and their parents. We were a bit crowded, but everyone got up close and personal with our birds.
(all photos by Jim McCormac, because I can never take pictures of myself while doing programs...and get this; Jim was sweet enough to go up to his office after my program and burn these onto a CD for me to take home. What a nice guy.)
Angel the Screech Owl always elicits the same response..."Awwwww!!"
(She also caught the eye of some songbirds in the trees.)
Lucy the Peregrine Falcon always elicits the same response... "Cooooollll!"
Storm the Barn Owl always elicits the same response...."Aiiiii! (with hands over ears)"
And Sylvester the Great Horned Owl just stuns everyone with his mighty, bad-ass self.
Side note: Sylvester always seems to lock onto one person in a crowd and follow them with his gaze...not sure what is going on with that.
But yesterday, his disapproval was aimed squarely at Jim. Like he knew Jim was reason we had to travel so far.
(You can't see it in any of the photos, but I am sporting more band-aids on my bird handling arm. I really wanted to take Isis with me yesterday, but she really, really, really didn't want to go to Columbus. Sank her talons into my forearm, through my GLOVE...I bled all over the place...and I was so fed up with her, I let her win that battle. I truly need some real handling gloves. That's two bad talon-episodes in a month. Saving my pennies...)
The kids got a real kick out of the birds (some kids asked me to come back next year!), and I think the adults did, too. I just felt so lucky to be there, presenting to the people that manage all those wonderful outdoor activities we all enjoy.
(While perusing their website, I came across this....I would love doing that!)
Thanks, Jim...for the photos, for asking me to be a part of your day....for everything!