There was a ruckus in the marsh very early Thursday morning. Not the “I’m hungry” squawking. It was frantic. Crows were mobbing. And then there was a kind of scream.
Really? Am I just having a nightmare? It has been pretty intense and maybe I am delusional. (Some would say, more than usual!)
Scott leaves for work and I put on my muddy jeans and boots and head out to the marsh to investigate. MiniMe is hard to find but I follow its weak, distressed squawk.
I am by myself. I have the red gloves and blanket but not the box. I think it is injured. It cannot lift its wings in a defensive stance. It is not even fussing at me. The parent on watch from the tall pines is not making the hoot growl. Plus I had watched a video last night of a Bald Eagle killing a Great Horned Owl adult, which did not add anything good to my anxiety. I just can’t leave it here. I just can’t.
I wish I had photos of what happened. But I could not take photos and get the owlet. The blanket didn’t work, got tangled in the marsh grass and I had to get a grip fast to reduce the chance of injury to the owlet or to me. MiniMe grabbed onto my left red glove with both talons and would not let go.
We walked all the way back to my house like that. I left my camera in the marsh. I tried to get MiniMe to cling to a tree several times on our journey. It would not let go. And it was biting me!
I am trying to be calm, use a soothing voice, try not to yell out OUCH! (not too loud, anyway).
I tried to get it to let loose on my lawn near my garage. Will not let go. I need the box. It is in the garage. I am afraid to go in the garage with MiniMe attached to me. What if she let go? In the garage? It could be chaos. We discuss. MiniMe and me. I politely ask her to please stop biting me, to settle down and we will get the box together and call the Center for Birds of Prey for assistance. MM agrees.
This a very long story. I call my contact at the Center for Birds of Prey, Debbie Mauney, the Medical Clinic Director. She listens carefully, asks specific questions and I am grateful that she will come over to examine MiniMe.
I retrieve my camera and binoculars from the marsh. (I left them there on high ground). I cancel my lunch meeting downtown. Get a cup of coffee and wait for help – expert help – to arrive.
I started to write this yesterday. It is Saturday morning now. I have house guests for the weekend and a neighborhood event in a few hours. I am not deliberately trying to leave you in suspense, I just can’t keep up!
My husband, Scott, suggested I say that due to technical difficulties, the photographer and writer are in hospital recovering from an owl/owlet attack. Funny, but not true. He is Scottish and has a, …well, Scottish sense of humor.
I am fine, so far. And (spoiler alert) so is MiniMe, so far….
The parting shot until I can finish the story: Help did arrive. I am sure MiniMe was thinking, “Finally, someone that knows what they are doing!”
To be continued….
PS To Mom, my real, human, mother: Stop emailing me about what happened next. I am doing the best I can. Yes, Scott finished the job and no, the vacuuming is still not done 😉 Dalet