Monday, September 19, 2016

Super Sunday

After a lovely morning at church--more on that later--we headed to a great hawk migration fest, though the weather was threatening.  I had been excited all week about the bird festival.  And it really was wonderful, with many of our favorite things.

Butterflies:  First, we saw the butterflies in a lovely flowering garden, with butterfly bushes and echinacea.  In fact, the volunteers were catching and tagging butterflies!  I must admit, I wasn't sure how they would tag butterflies, but Bud and Sis knew because their butterfly-loving teacher had done it before, with little stickers.  And indeed, they put on a little sticker.  Note:  do NOT try to remove the sticker if you come across one.  Just report the number.  Bud and Sis know so much about butterflies because of the three-year study they've done with their teacher--the black dots which indicate the butterfly was male, the difference between various cocoons, the three generations it takes to make the full migration.

Arts and Crafts:  While waiting for a tour of the lighthouse, we did some arts and crafts.  Sis made a pine cone squirrel that she wants to give to Pop for the cabin (don't tell!)  We also all made buttons with animal pictures from magazines.  I made a grumpy Snowy Owl, Bud a penguin.  Sis made a Gyr Falcon for Mama and a Bald Eagle for herself.  It was sweet.

Carousel:  The magnificent carousel in the park is 105 years old, with original horses complete with real horse-hair manes, a working organ, and apparently all the original mechanics and floor.  So pretty.  I loved the lights and the music and especially the little name plates over each horses.  We rode it twice.  Sis and Bud sat together, while Mama and I sat behind them on the sleigh.  You could see the Sound as the carousel went around and around, with that great twinkly music.  I could almost imagine it was another era.  I love carousels.

Lighthouse:  Dating to 1847, the lighthouse was replaced just thirty years later, because it was essentially invisible, being in the wrong place!  It has a stone stairwell, with 72 steps, about a foot high, ending with a three-step ladder.  I stayed downstairs while Mama and the kids ventured up.  They liked the view.

Sea Glass:  Meanwhile, I looked for sea glass.  I found a nice little green piece right off, but it was my only piece of the day.   To paraphrase my dad, "A bad day looking for sea glass is better than a good day doing chores."  I also found a ton of fishing line caught in seaweed; that's bad for birds so I threw it away.

Gyr falcon, with jesses visible

Raptors:  We ended the day with a fantastic raptor show.  He showed off a Barn Owl, a Spectacle Owl, and a four-month-old Sakr Falcon.  Then he flew a Eurasian Eagle Owl (coming to the glove), a Harris Hawk (chasing a "rabbit" on the ground), and a Gyr Falcon (chasing a "bird" in flight.)  It really was amazing.  I don't get tired watching falconry, especially having read H is for Hawk.

What a wonderful day!  It had so many of the things we love.

Eurasian Eagle Owl going by
Though, ice cream or the Ixtapa taco truck would have been perfect.

Harris Hawk

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