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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Arctic Ghost

This morning I kept my kids "home" from school to go searching for a Snowy Owl (that's Hedwig for all you Harry Potter fans) first found on Sunday about an hour away in Berks County (important for parents to instill a proper sense of priorities!). After driving around snow-covered fields for a couple hours, my four year old was getting hungry, pulled out a clump of my one-year-old's hair, and the subsequent screaming almost bagged the search right then.

After threatening to cancel our Burger King lunch plans if they didn't start behaving, we drove around some more. The four year old was really suffering, but he did suggest that God might be able to help us find the owl. So he said a little prayer, and we drove back to the place where the bird was last seen. Another searcher who had been there before us decided to call it a day and head back to Lancaster County. I scanned the fields one last time, then took a look at my map and noticed an area we hadn't covered yet on the way back to the main highway, and told the kids we were heading home.

Just as I was losing hope and looking for a place to turn around and head back up to the highway, I spotted the young Snowy Owl on the ground about 75 yards off the road. The eight year old and four year old were able to get great scope views of the bird. The one year old may or may not have seen the bird. Hard to tell with toddlers.

All in all a great morning with the kids, who can add Snowy Owl and Horned Lark to their life lists. That and the Burger King chicken strips make three good birds for the day!

1 comment:

Julie Zickefoose said...

I had much the same experience with Phoebe when she was 4 and Liam when he was 2...with a young snowy owl. Liam screamed pretty much the whole time we were looking for the bird. Luckily it was teed up and I got fairly decent looks while buying Liam off with Fritoes. Phoebe saw it through the scope and dug it. I say, take the bairns whenever you can. Here's to you! I also explained to my kids' school at the outset that they would have lots of unexplained absences and long disappearances while we took them to festivals!I think So. TX is a much better education than spelling drills, don't you?

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