YeeeOwls in yer face. I didn't get scalped while taking these photos, don't worry. Oh, you weren't worried? I didn't think so, really. Good for you. I sort of got a little obsessed with this nest because it was in one of the few trees in the area (sagebrush sea) and I was pretty much freaking out because I was worried they were too close to a main road. All was well in the end, but I really did lose sleep about this. Um, sometimes I would go check on them in the middle of the night to make sure the babies weren't hanging out in the road.I'm not sure what snapped in my head-brain recently, but holy hell. The last couple years, my attachment to ANYTHING animal, and anything remotely sad involving animals, habitat loss, etc...I just can't do it. I can't. I cannot. Ever since I was a wee goofball, it's always been a very emotional ride when animals are concerned. But I'm surprised I am not perpetually dehydrated (probably helps I drink 7 liters of water a day, but not the point) from crying constantly about all the sad crap in the world. It kills me. No really, I think it might actually be killing me. I've always been an animal lover and always been much more attached to them than most people, but whoaaaa, guys. I cannot keep my emotions in check these days (I'm too young to be going through menopause, so shut your mouth).
I cry when I see pikas (it's true! I've got issues!) - partly, because they are so goddamn cute. And also because, well, they are not thriving and that bums me out. Who wants to live in a world without pikas (or pandas, or...take your pick). The thought of this crushes me. It totally annihilates me. I do not want to live in a world without pikas or pandas, no thank you.
Here's a downer story for you (sorry): I recently witnessed an unfortunate member of society and his 11-12 year old grandson shooting rabbits while on their white trash ATV. I'm going to save this entire rant for another post (because, I WILL GO ON AND ON), but this was almost a month ago now, and I have been having nightmares, pretty much every night, about this situation. I can't get over it. I won't get over it.
The Soda fire in southern Idaho? No. I just broke down earlier this morning because it's burning up so much sage-grouse habitat and it's at almost 280,000 acres and only 10% contained. The lion incident (excuse me, murder, I mean) from a few weeks ago? No.The fact that NPS shot and killed a grizzly and threw her cubs into a zoo this week? No no NOOOO. My need to curl up in the fetal position and just cry about all these things is out.of.control. I'm a Highly Sensitive Person (no, really, it's a legitimate thing. Click that link.). I know a lot of people are upset about these things, but I lose sleep over them every single night. I have nightmares, I wake up thinking about them. It's sort of taxing, really. I take all this stuff very personally. However, I'll take my insane emotions over apathy any day. APATHY! Don't even get me started on apathy. So gross, that apathy. Apathy has destroyed our planet.
But back on point. These great-horned owls fledged and they were fun to watch. They kept going back to the nest at night, for about 10 days or so, but then I'd hear them near the trailer (about a mile and a half from their nest). There were also a bunch of short-eared owls around, who I worried about much more than the great-horneds because they would forage in the road at night and didn't flush from cars as easily as they should have. More posts on the short-eareds to come (I had some pretty fantastic close encounters with those guys!).
Oh! Here's a link to a gofundme site, if you don't mind checking it out and maybe sharing it. I am still so grateful to everyone who helped with my car funds last year and know that site can be a game changer. A good friend of mine, along with some more wonderful people, helped rescue a circus lion in Argentina and the sweet thing just touched grass for the first time in 8 years, after being confined in a cage for years. Hopefully this link to photos will work: https://www.facebook.com/Alicia.Yapur/media_set?set=a.10207553504865908.1133305465&type=3 Really, look at the before and afters- she is already so much happier and healthier!