Thursday, January 27, 2011

RIP, Icabod

When I went up to feed yesterday, I found dear Icabod dead at the base of his little handicap ramp, face down, wings in, like he just dropped dead. His food was gone from last night, so at least he died with a full tummy... Evening before last was the first time I didn't actually HAND the food to him, like I usually do. Now I wonder if I could have caught something if I had continued the ritual of hand feeding him Tuesday. He was never what you would call a 'friendly' bird, so I would just hand the food to him, have a little chat and then be on my way...

Rather than cutting him up to find a COD, I would rather have him mounted so he can continue to teach. He was so unusual a little space creature and so very beautiful. Taxidermy ain't cheap, but I'll scrounge the money together somehow and drive him out to Bud Jones, who does incredible work.

Icabod came to me last June, a very weird case of him having had all the primaries and most of the secondaries ripped out of his right wing. And with a force so strong, it caused tremendous soft tissue damage to the tip of his right wing... After trying to preserve as much wing as possible for all these months, Dr. Martinez finally had to amputate at the wrist. Icabod was completely healed up and had been back out in the big boy chamber for a while and was enjoying the sights and sounds of my yard...Scully trilling, Sam, Nigel and Jeffrey hooting their little heads off... The chickens walking by got his attention every time!

Thanks to Robert T. for helping me convert his chamber to make it safer and more comfortable for him. Ever since my Mina died 2 years ago, I have been obsessed with Sam and Scully's mortality...Sam turned 21 this month and Scully will be 16 in the spring, but I never gave Icabod's life with me a second thought; I assumed I'd have him for many years to come. Just goes to show you, you never know what the day will bring...

David says, "Since you've only been landlocked for 6 months, learning to fly again will be easy as pie! Come on, let's GO!"

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog....m.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The sun is out, hardly any wind to speak of, it's a whopping 47 degrees and I'm positively GIDDY. The weather hasn't been this nice in I don't know when. It's this time of year that I start making deals with God; I'm so cold and miss digging in the earth and growing plants. It seems like spring will never arrive...

I spent the first part of my morning making a bazillion phone calls, trying to line up some transportation for an injured water bird up near the Tennessee border. I won't know until later if my efforts will bear fruit. You do what you can, knowing that you cannot save them all...

While making phone and receiving said phone calls this morning, I made a wonderful pot of chili in the crock pot. Thanks JDon for the recipe!

I was sick as a dog during the snow storm. I didn't leave the house from Sunday until the following Saturday. All in all, we weren't worth killing. Everyone was MISERABLE.

But, a girl has to eat

The chickens were horrified

Carol was up to her fetlocks in the white stuff

The cats were put out about the whole affair

...and Bill was thinking it was the end of the world...

So, since I had some nice weather this afternoon, I spent it in the chicken coop. Coop and poop rhyme. I wonder if they did that on purpose? I have only one of the former, but lots of the latter. I then refreshed their substrate, a mixture of topsoil, sand and food grade diatomaceous earth, along with some oyster shell. I have 11 girls and received 10 eggs today. Even with all this cold, dreary weather, I have had excellent production and I'm so happy that the ladies over at Loving Hands Veterinary Hospital are loving the eggs. Heck, I made 16 dollars the other day! (Ted, if you're reading this and need any advice, just ring me up and we'll chat)

I learned something that I wish to share with you. When it snowed on Christmas day, three of my girls disappeared. I was sad and figured that the neighbors dog got them or something... Oh well. Then fast forward to this last snow event...another TWO go missing. Now I'm worried. A full two days later Curly and Mary Andrews stagger back into the yard, shaking and stressed out. I am now thinking that they become snow blind, get disoriented and cannot find their way back home. I miss Helen so much. She was the sweetest, most gentle chicky-poodle you could ever want. I was worried that my egg production would go down, but it's almost like the others pulled together to squeeze out more to make up for their lost friends. I still average 8 eggs a day and if you have never eaten fresh eggs, they are so very good. But note to self - when your pockets are full of eggs, be mindful opening doors. I'm a sticky, ookie-yolkie mess...

I love my girls...Blanche and Carol sharing the nestbox

For those of you who attended our fund raiser back in September, you might recall art done by Adrienne Myles. Well, she just donated three more paintings and they are terrific. We will need to hold another fund raiser soon, so I can continue my mission in keeping and caring for those who don't have a voice.

When I see something like this, it makes my heart sad, but at the same time, instills a dogged determination to keep going, some way, some how...and with your help, I'll make it happen. You can go over to and donate via the PayPal icon, or drop some Mouse Money off at P.O. Box 130, Holly Springs, GA 30142.

I'll end this post on a beautiful note...birds grateful to have a full tummy on a snowy day. God save you all and good night.

One of my charges from last year

Female cardinal

Tufted Titmouse

Male cardinal

Oh, also my wonderful vet, Dr. Martinez has a mobile 'well visit' practice now. Please check out his web site when you get a minute. I did some of the photography for it. **sniff-sniff** :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It wasn't wasn't even a cat.

Hey y'all,

I'm absolutely stuffed from supping at Robert and Tabatha's house on this 1st of January. Had the traditional greens and black eyed peas and all the rest of it. I didn't stay long because it's been raining all day and my basement is...damp, but not quite wet. It's never been the same since the flooding of Sept. '09. **sigh**

It was around dusk this evening that I was outside chatting with my friend Nancy about the weird pinkish/yellow sky when one of my Barred owls glides through the yard and takes a mouse off the hack board. It was very cool to have been looking at just the right place at the right time or I would have missed the whole thing. The photo isn't good because by the time I came in, got the camera, went outside to wait for him to return to the yard it was dark, drizzling rain and he was WAY up the tree...

One of my Red-shouldered hawks came to visit on Christmas day. What a nice gift!

The chicky-poodles didn't care one whit about the snow...

Bill laughed when he saw Blanche by the back door. I wish he wouldn't gloat.

This here is Bill on Christmas day. His mama didn't raise no fool...

Bill helps me polish off the bowl of cheese grits. Yum, yum!

You would think I never feed my cats...

But then, if I didn't feed them, I would have no need for a cat box... Mommy is saying, "Hurry up! You've been in there all day!"

This pic really cracked me up when I noticed the fire extinguisher by the cat box. Mommy reminded me we had Mexican the night before... Is NOTHING sacred? Nah.

If I had grandchildren, you know what they would be wearing!

Or a dog. My cats wouldn't put up with this nonsense for one minute. And truth be known, he looks pretty embarrassed about it...

"Mama, if he follows me home, can I keep him?" Why can't I find a nice guy like this? **sigh** I captured this image on his FaceBook profile, so it didn't turn out large enough to really appreciate his awesomeness... Nothing like face time with a Snowy owl.

The Barn owl babes are just about ready to go. I've been using operant conditioning in hopes they will hang around post release to feed off the hack board while they are sorting things out.

Icabod has fully recovered from his surgery and is back in the big boy chamber!

This poor dear Cooper's hawk was found on Sally and Richard's driveway and couldn't stand. After a week of steroids and no improvement, the decision was made to euthanize him. Accipiters don't make very good rehab candidates because they are so spooky; sort of like the hot rods of the raptor family and unless the injury is minor that you can flip them soon, they will have destroyed all their plumage by the time their injury heals.

Thank you Miss Pat for taking this picture of Clyde, the Red-shouldered hawk that I plucked out of a tree in her back yard last week. Unfortunately, his humerus was broken. This bird had been making a very good living in the wild up until this happened because this was an old break, already fused but unfortunately, overlapped. We had to put this beauty to sleep, too. At least he didn't die a miserable death of starvation or being eaten by a coyote. This is the sucky part of my job...

You keep helping and hoping and loving and giving. It's always sad when a bird dies, or you have to make that awful decision to put it down, but my life is also balanced with the joy of meeting terrific Good Samaritans, helping to recover the wounded and of course, raising the babies! I look forward to offering many more blogs and photo's this year and I appreciate you, the reader, for going on this journey with me. I also want to thank you for your generosity because the donations have kept us afloat where the program fees have all but disappeared. Thank you - Thank you - Thank you! If you have any leftover Mouse Money, we would be most grateful for however much you can spare. You can go over to the web site and click on the PayPal icon and it's a snap! Or you could mail us a Mouse Money check to HawkTalk, P.O. Box 130, Holly Springs, GA 30142

I want to end this on a funny note. Me being the party animal that I am, I didn't go out to celebrate New Years Eve last night. I stayed home and fell asleep early, woke up in the middle of the night and realized that Face wasn't in the house. So, I go down to the cat room in the basement. As my eyes were adjusting to the nightlight, I started doing a head count of all the puddies in a wad...let's see...Elliott, Choo-Choo, Louis, Peter, Cristobel, the dead cat was over in the chair, but I didn't see Face. I turn to my right and look over at the wicker cat bed and I see SOMETHING, so I figured it was Face, but as I started to move towards it, I froze! It was not Face. It wasn't even a cat. It was the cutest possum I have EVER seen! I backed away and scooted up to the house to get the camera. He let me get within 2 feet of him to take this fabulous shot! I'm calling him Opie because of the ears... Ron grew into his, but this little dude never will! God save you all and good night...m.