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May 30, 2006

The rest of the story...

Another owl update: On Friday I was working in the garden and I heard Zachary yelling "There's an owl in our sandbox!"
Right away I knew that an owlette had fallen out of the tree.
So I went over there and sure enough,
there was an owl in the sandbox.
He puffed up and made a
"clattering" sound with his beak.
Sounded kind of like when you click your teeth together. He was terribly intimidating,
but when I went to pick him up with gloves he didn't do anything.
We then realized his "clicking" was worse than his bite
and we all had a good look and feel of him.
Then we set him up on the playstructure hoping the mom
would come and find him in the night. Close to dark when the girls were jumping on the trampoline,
they spotted the other owlette on the ground close by.
He appeared to be a little older than the first one
and a little more 'testy'.
We caught him and put him on the playstructure with the other one.
And then went inside hoping that the parents
would find them by morning. The next morning we were happy to find that one owl was gone,
but the other one was still hanging around.
We were leaving for the day so we just left him on the grass. On Sunday morning he still hadn't left. We left for church and when we came home he was gone! So our owl adventure has come to an end. Face to face with
'little owlette'
Isn't he
Brooke & Owlette
being introduced UPDATE: Just as we were writing this post, Mark's mom came over and said
she had a visitor! GUESS WHO?
The owl is back.
So right now he is sitting on our deck watching everyone as they go by!
I guess we will put him out in the bush again tonight
and hope he either learns to fly or his parents start looking for him!

May 23, 2006

There's Been A Sighting!

Here is an update on our owl visitor. We are now sure that she has babies. Two owlette's were spotted on Sunday. I am sad to report that we were only able to get a clear shot of one of these fuzzy little creatures. If you look carefully to the right of the little owl, you can see another fuzz ball. This is the other baby. So far the only action we have seen from them, is poking their little heads out once in awhile. We will bring you more photos when we have them. That's it for now.

May 18, 2006

It's planting time!

It's that time of year again.
This year we got it almost all the garden planted in one day!
Here are some pics of the fun we had.
Megan planting onions
Planning, Planting, Planning, Planting
Kerri has an casual way of planting!
The boys play on their race track.
The boys make good use of the time
Looks like their having fun

For those of you who wonder if we have a big garden, this is part of it, behind the raspberries, is another nice size plot. We also have another plot in the back of the yard that we plant our crop of potatoes in.

May 17, 2006

We're Being Watched!

This owl took the libery to make her home in a tree in our front yard! Up until now I haven't been able to get any good pictures. But yesterday she was very cooperative. So guess what we've decidec to learn about? Owls!!! This ones a great horned owl. They are the largest owl in North America. The "horns" are actually just tufts of feathers. They weigh about 3 lbs. and have a wing span of 18-25 inches. They fly almost silently. She can come back and forth from the nest and we hardly notice except that she is gone. When we were cleaning up the bush she stayed through all the tractor and people noise but got "scared off" when she heard a large tree crack. We thought she might not come back, but she did. Owls do not build nests. They find nests abandoned by other birds like hawks. This nest looks very rickity and I wonder how it can hold the mother and her little ones. They lay between 1 & 3 eggs. Both the mother and the father incubate the eggs. (So I guess I shouldn't keep calling them a she!) The eggs hatch 26-35 days after they are laid. We saw a broken egg on the ground under the nest a couple of weeks ago, but so far we have seen no baby action. At 6-7 weeks the young venture out onto nearby branches. By 10 weeks they are learning to fly. The first summer the young owls continue to live in the same area as their parents. By fall they will fly off to find their own territory. So I guess we will hear a little more hoo, hoo, hooing around our yard this summer. The parents split up when the babies are on their own. They are solitary animals that prefer to live alone. Right now we enjoy listening to them 'talk' to each other back and forth. So that's all for now. We will keep you posted on future happenings with our owl friends!

May 8, 2006

Building A Playstructure

Over the last couple of weeks we have been cleaning out our bush that had many fallen trees and we made a playstructure.
This was a great family project as it took lots of hard work, lots of thinking
and lots of cooperation. Here are a few pics of the beginning, during and the finished product.
Well almost finished, we have a climbing wall to add yet! The beginning Burning the many branches You mean it has to be level? Everyone has their part Armed and industrious The slide is finally done! Here comes the sand Even Nathan found a job Finished Product