Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Introducing my new mascot

A few of my birding friends have mascots.  Little stuffed animals or toys that accompany them on their travels, who are the subject of photo shoots at ever-changing locales.

Well, I wanted one too.  I'm special enough to have a freakin' mascot.  I was going to get the BEST mascot.  A PROPER mascot.

I laid out the idea on my Facebook page, and among the more racy suggestions, a friend reminded me about my Mom's owl collection. Mom gave me lots of her old owl knick-knacks and sit-abouts when I started at RAPTOR, and one in particular came to mind.
(Little owl figure...sounds perfect for me, right?  Wait.  It gets better.)

Palito 1

Back story:
About 30 years ago, Mom got a present from a friend, and when she opened it, it looked for all the world like a small ceramic penis.  As it turned out, it was upside down and it was really a terra cotta owl from Mexico.
But the back of it....yes, it resembles a penis.

So I had a little owl with an  (albeit unintentionally) obscene  body part.
(Sounds perfect, right? Wait. It gets better.)

Now this little thing needed a name.  Not just any old name like George or Stavros or Boris.  It needed a Latino name.  Preferably one that captured the true essence of this singular item.
(Yes, I wanted it to give a nod to the phallic nature of the thing.)
Doug, one of our newest members of the Flock, came through for me.  I described it to him, and his suggestion was "Palito".  Which means in Spanish.....wait for it....
Little Stick.
(Sounds perfect, right?  Wait.  It gets better.)

So. Obscene yet cute owl, named Palito.  I took him to Starbucks with me this morning for his first photo shoot with one of the baristas.

Palito and Rachel

Rachell, a favorite of mine. And as dirty-minded as I am.
She looked him over, and said, "It's a whistle?"  I laughed and said, "No...of course not.".  Then I looked at the holes in the back.  And put the obscene part of the owl in my mouth.  And blew.

Well, I'll be dipped.  He IS a whistle.

So I have a mascot in the shape of an owl, with a backside shaped like a penis, named Palito, and you can blow him.  Perfection.  It made my day.
(What cracks me up to no end is the....look of utter terror on his face.  Makes the locales seem so sinister)

Palito's first day out consisted of:

Sitting on a fallen sycamore tree by the Little Miami River...
Palito and sycamore

Wondering if he was brave enough to go for a swim...

Meeting a tiny toad.....
Palito and toad

And also meeting Hooper....
Palito and Hooper

He went with me to pick up dinner.....
Palito and pizz

We kicked back in the hammock for a bit....
Palito on hammock

He climbed a tree.....and immediately thought, "Holy crap!".....
Palito maple tree

He was terrified by the young milkweed bugs.....
Palito and milkweed bugs

And the lone milkweed tussock moth caterpillar.....
Palito and milkweed tussock cat

The monarch caterpillar made him feel faint....
Palito and monarch cat

The purple martin house (vacant) perplexed him............
Palito and PUMA house

He wants to know what kind of gall this is...........
Palito and weird gall thing

And he thought he could be brave enough to explore on his own, but he's just too terrified....
Palito in grass

So that's Palito.  Look for him at birding festivals near you! And let's see how many famous birders I can get photos of while they are playing his whistle.


Vicki said...

He's hopelessly cute. If you ever need a mascot sitter let me know. I would take very good care of him and I know he would enjoy meeting the bears. And I promise not to blow him.

Nina @Nature Remains said...

I wonder if the "gall" you wonder about is not actually a gall, but the tiny pot constructed by a potter wasp?
It looks like it's made of clay.
Potter wasps make these small chambers and leave an egg and captured food supply sealed up inside.
Pretty cool find.
They're adorably cute!

NCmountainwoman said...

I swear to you Palito changes his expressions in various scenarios!!! What a great laugh and fun post. I love him.

Heather said...

Hooper looks unimpressed. Palito, on the other hand, looks vewwy scawwed (I don't know how to type that out, but you get the idea... it's Elmer Fudd speak). What's he gonna do when he sees all of us at MBS?!

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Louisette said...

Funny cute your new mascott, wonderfull foto of your experience ortitologic and birdlife, greeting from Belgium.

dguzman said...

His eyes are almost as crazy as Michele Bachman's, but he's still cute as a button. I too got a mascot -- kinda accidentally -- post forthcoming.