Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our Missy Owl has died

It's a sad day for me.  We went down the lane this evening to check on our owlets.  We searched and couldn't see any sign of them, so we decided to pull off on a spot on the road that is closer to the owl's tree. 
When we got out, Todd noticed  two lumps by a power pole. We saw two of  the owlets but closer observation revealed that not only an owlet had died, but our missy owl (mama) lay 6 feet away from it.
  We expected that one of the babies would probably die.  That is just how it works.  What we didn't expect  was to see the mama die.  We think that they may have been hit by a car and it's possible the mama was trying to get her baby out of danger. There is a large power pole close by but can't think how they both would have been electrocuted. It's also possible they were shot.
 At any rate, they are gone... leaving two other owlets behind.  The babies are either dead, or they will still struggle as they no longer have a mother to teach them to hunt, eat, or fly.  I have invested so much thought, attention, and excitement as I have watching this beautiful creature tend to her nest and babies.  It has been the highlight of many nights down the lane. I am stunned. I feel silly at times thinking I'm making a big deal about nothing but if God notes the sparrows fall, surely I can be sad for the loss of our little missy owl.  I get a little weepy thinking about it.
A man named Milton Hunter said the following:
"We have come to realize that our Father in heaven provides for [the birds] as He does for us. They are part of His great plan. He created them to gladden our hearts with their songs and to give us joy in observing their beauty. The Savior taught that our Heavenly Father feeds the birds and that not one sparrow is forgotten before God, for He takes note of every sparrow that shall fall on the ground (Matt. 10:29).
Milton R. Hunter, “Friend to Friend: Feeding the Birds,” Friend, Aug 1973, 16

This owl and her babies have certainly gladdened our hearts and given us many days of joy and I hope God will certainly take note of our Missy owl.
I took some pictures... not to exploit, but rather to show you how beautiful they were.

I have posted a couple of pictures prior that I thought described her. This picture more accurately describes what she would have looked like.

I want to share some photos that we have taken in the last few months. She is just sitting in some of them, feeding her owlets in others and looking like a cat in a tree in still another.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our little Missy owl that lives down the lane

Todd and I have been watching an owl that lives down a country lane for about a year.  It would sit on the telephone wire along the road and hunt.    It wasn't too long ago that we found out it is a she as we drove passed her one night and she had something big hanging out of her mouth.  We turned around and she eventually flew over to a tree where we could see her feeding 3 owlets in a nest.  We had never known where she was nesting before so this was quite a treat.  Now every Friday date night, we head down the country road and spy on her and the little guys.  The binocs help quite a bit.  Tonight, we discovered that the owlets are big enough to get out of the nest and flit from branch to branch exercising their wings.  One little owlet did the whole cocking his head in circles like owls are supposed to do.  It was too cute.  At any rate, I'm posting a picture of what the mother looks like.
Since going out to see the owls, I have joked with my two oldest children, now adults, that as soon as the mother owl kicks her babies out of the nest that I expect them to leave my nest.  So far, I have yet to see them flit to the next branch.

Friday, May 14, 2010

How Full is your bucket?

I just read a book... really intended for business, yet, can be applied to any relationship. It is written by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. and published by Gallup Press.  It's about each of dipping or filling each others buckets whether or not we really know it.  You cannot fill or empty anothers bucket without affecting your own.  Here is an excerpt:

"Each of us has an invisible bucket.  it is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us.  When our bucket is full, we feel great.  When it's empty we feel awful. 
Each of us also has an invisible dipper.  When we use that dipper to fill othere people's buckets- by saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions- we also fill our own bucket.  But when we used that dipper to dip from othere' buckets - by saying or doing things that decrease their positive emotions-we diminish ourselves.
Like the cup that runneth over , a full bucket gives us a positive outlook and renewed energy.  Every drop in that bucket makes us stronger and more optimistic. 
But an empty bucket poisons our outlook, saps our energy, and undermines our will.  That's why every time someone dips from our bucket, it hurts us."

The book goes on to explain that the choice is ours what we will do... will we empty our bucket... or fill it?

What a wonderful concept in learning that we cannot fill ours UNTIL we fill anothers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all great women

This is to my mother as well as to all women.  Mother's day is not a celebration of bearing children, nor is it a day to celebrate in yourself.  Everyone of us has a mother. If we look around we may find we have many mothers. What of those many great women that lift feeble hands and hearts?   Look around and find the hands that nurtured a young woman in her youth, that rocked or comforted a child, or one that just inspired you to be a better person than you were yesterday.

Real Mothers don't eat quiche;
They don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils
Are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors,
Filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough
Doesn't come out of carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what
The vacuum just sucked up.......

Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?'
And get their answer when a little
Voice says, 'Because I love you best.'

Real Mothers know that a child's growth
Is not measured by height or years or grade...
It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother.....

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't know everything!

14 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother? She wouldn’t have a clue.
16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's so five minutes ago.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart,
The place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she
Shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!