It’s been a wild week – in a good way. Take these two barred owls, for instance. They are living at the Born to Be Wild Nature Center in Bradford RI. This is the only licensed raptor rehabilitation facility in the state, and they get injured birds like these from all over. In addition to working full time, John and Vivian Maxson care for these birds of prey all by themselves, with no government funding. Now they’ve lost their supplier of frozen mice to feed the birds, so they’re having a fundraiser on March 4. Go to their Facebook page if you can buy a ticket or help out in any way.
Here’s a photo of a beautiful male kestrel they are rehabbing.
I have enrolled in a naturalist course, which is being offered by the Rhode Island Natural History Survey. This week, the class was about bees and pollination.
Dr. Howard Ginsberg, the instructor, ended the class by giving us an opportunity to examine different species of bees under a microscope. There are about 200 species in RI, and it looked like most of them were represented in the specimens. Of course, we did hear about the ongoing efforts to understand Colony Collapse Disorder. Frightening and depressing.
Looking at anything under a microscope is cool. I remember my first microscope, ordered from the back of a cereal box. The first time I examined a drop of pond water, my mind was blown. It was – and still is – a fascinating universe, full of strange-looking animals living out their lives in a tiny world that most people are unaware of. The bees looked awesome too.
On my way to the class, I had to stop suddenly to avoid a small herd of deer. I followed them into an ugly new housing development to take a picture. This used to be a field, and they’re probably wondering where it went. I know I am.