“Ron!” I yelled, “An owl passed out on our kitchen counter. What should I do?” It was late at night and Ron was sound asleep, while I was checking Facebook. Stunned and dazed, the little screech owl stared at me, unable to move anything except his big, moon-shaped eyes. Stunned and dazed, Ron came to our rescue. He gently lifted the little intruder and we checked him or her (How do you identify the sex of an owl?) for broken wings, abrasions, and head wounds. All appeared to be in working order, but then again, we are not vets, nor accustomed to owls dropping in or making house calls in the middle of the night.
Ron carried the dazed and confused owl outside. He tried to perch him on the homemade ladder leaning against the back of our house. The poor little fellow fell off the perch and plopped to the ground with a barely audible ‘thud’ cushioned by downy feathers. After much discussion on the best way to position an injured owl, we decided to prop him up on the ground leaning against the back wall of the house.
Returning to the scene of the accident, we noticed a cloud of downy feathers swirling around the ceiling fan in the kitchen. Tropical living is an open-air concept. We find it impossible to screen out all of the intruders, so we have learned to live with Jungle Law: Nothing is sacred. Nothing is out-of-bounds. The evidence led us to surmise that the screech owl flew into the ceiling fan.
Meanwhile, back at the temporary owl hospital under the ladder, we found a large toad guarding the screech owl. Our dazed house guest appeared to be more alert. He was shaking his wings and twirling his head around in an Exorcist kind of way. To me, that seemed like progress!
Fifteen minutes later, our dazed and confused intruder had totally recovered. He flew off silently into the moon shadows, while his new toad friend hopped after him. I love a happy ending.
November 5, 2004
After four months of tropical living, I am beginning to understand the laws of the jungle. Attempting to live a high tech lifestyle in a low-tech world has inundated us with many challenges. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s worth the effort because it’s a never ending battle that requires persistence, awareness, patience, and constant vigilance. But, wait there’s more…