The theme for Tag Tuesday was the color combination of blue and green. My tag is pretty simple, it was one of those not so great weeks health wise. But hey - I did one!
(click for detail)
Owl On the Road
Seventeenth in the Tuesday Story Series
I have mentioned in an earlier story that my father's parents lived in a small village in the mid-state. When we would travel there for a visit, it would be on back roads, which at that time were the ONLY roads to travel anywhere, because I-26 wasn't completed until during the decade of the 1960's. So I guess in reality they weren't really back roads at all, but instead were the main roads of the time! Anyway, the drive took us through small towns, country pastures, and intersections which may have boasted simply a gas station or a post office. We enjoyed it, because there were always things to look at and we played some fun travel games, which I will detail in another story.
One particular Sunday evening (we usually made a day trip on a Sunday), the weather was turning stormy as we approached the Charleston area. I liked storms, still do, and had firm trust in my Dad's driving those two lane roads. As we were coming down Hwy 61, the road where several famous plantations fronted, the trees were swaying and rain was beating on the car. Dad was travelling pretty slow because it was so dark. Suddenly he hit the brakes, and backed the car up a bit, put it in park and hopped out. He picked up something and put it in the trunk of the car, and returned, a bit wetter, to the drivers seat. Of course we we clamoring for more information, even my mother was unsure of what just transpired. Dad calmed us down and said that he had noticed a Barred Owl sitting by the side of the road, and when he stopped and went back to it, it never moved, so Dad was able to pick it up. He thought it was stunned by either lightening or by flying into a loose branch in the storm.
We had a wooden cage up on legs in the backyard which over time had held baby raccoons, and other forms of wildlife that my Father had come across in his traversing across farmlands. We kept him him the cage for a few days to make sure he had no injuries. Of course, we named him Hooty (please, I was only 10, and the rest were even younger!) The Charleston newspaper came out and took a picture of me holding the owl.
(click for detail)
I look a bit stressed, but it was because of the way they made me hold him - I kept thinking I must have been hurting him. Soon, Dad felt like Hooty was ready to return to the wild, and we released him one afternoon into the woods behind our house. As soon as he flew up in a nearby tree, the blue jays, crows, mocking birds, and others made the most awful ruckus and dived at him repeatedly. They were obviously none too fond of him, and they were a bit riled that he was out during their time in the neighborhood, rather than waiting till evening as a proper owl should. He seemed to take no mind of them, but preened his feathers a bit, then gracefully took wing further back in to the forest, with his retinue screaming behind him. I think the love I have for animals comes from seeing the care my dad took of the wild ones he would come across. The place where we parted opinion was whether dogs should be in the house or out, but that's another story!
Be kind to animals!