“When cats run home and light is come, And dew is cold upon the ground, And the far-off stream is dumb, And the whirring sail goes round, And the whirring sail goes round; Alone and warming his five wits, The white owl in the belfry sits.”~ Lord Alfred Tennyson
There is a reason I go away when we go on vacation. If I stay home I work ~ all those things we don't have time for in term time. Two days it took me to get new tires on the island car & I practically had to beg even then ~ which is what you get when you have one officially retired but only available mechanic on the island. He doesn't need to work....It's sort of a hobby & if he'd rather go fishing, well....And I still have to take the old tires to the tip! To~day's job; Star can drive.
Then there was the mainland car which I had been begging Liddy to sort out because she drove it waaaay more than I did. I normally only need it at night ~ when the garage is shut ~ but of course she was always in a rush & needing to be somewhere so it never got done. Yesterday we went & did it. At least we did what I could afford. All day affair ~ naturally. We plan for these things.
So we went & bought movie tickets but with time to kill before our session started were wandering back towards the shopping centre when we spotted this gorgeous man!Isn't he something?! He is a barn owl. The wildlife rescue people were out in force with a 1/2 dozen or so animals in tow making the most of school holiday crowds to raise awareness. I think Star sort of quailed in her boots because I am a sucker for a pretty bird & promptly started chatting up the young handler. Barn owls we have but though we might have them we never get this up close & personal with enough light to admire the snowy chest with a delicate freckling of black, the tawny back feathers, the incredible angles that an owl can turn its head. Hand raised & not ever able to be released he was inquisitive & affectionate & enjoyed sticky beaking the crowd.
We came back a little later to visit with Anala, which means place of peace [I told you I chatted this guy up!]. Wedge~tail. This guy is only tiny with a 3 m wing span & weighing just on 2ks, which is nothing in the eagle world but a whole lot of bird when he is tethered to your wrist. The wing span can reach as much as 7m ~ out west these guys regularly take lambs or small sheep & have been known to take small dogs [of the lap dog variety] on the island. Even jessed, even confined these guys are really something special. I was delighted as even in the mall area he turned into the wind to get the lift as the breeze came through & every so often he'd take of, practically taking his handler with him.
Yeah, he was affectionate too. I am always amazed at how responsive wild animals can be when they are treated right. I asked if they ever flew him, & yes, but he's never out long because he had a broken wing & tires easily. It will take about 3 years for complete healing to occur.
Then there was this little guy ~ about the size I like them & I had a long chat about the flying foxes ~ I will pick people's brains when the opportunity arises & besides, the guy is the first person I've ever met who loves them as much as I do!
Then, because Star wouldn't choose so I did, we went & saw this:
Star about had a fit when she realised some of it was sub~titled! Not sure about the story line; think I now need to go read the book, but visually stunning & historically/culturally interesting. Poor Star. Even on holidays she gets educated one way or another.
Picked up more seedlings & a grape vine & am now off into the sunshine to dig in the rich black soil & make my cats happy. They missed me yesterday. Dearest swears they have to go away with me because they do not love him when I am not around!