Halloween Too ~ 2017

What could be better than Halloween in August??

Halloween Too, in August!

You heard me right. A second Halloween!

I couldn’t wait! More trick or treating! More arts and crafts! More water balloon slingshot . . .

Uh oh!

What do I hear on the roof?  It isn’t Santa, he already came this summer.

It’s the pitter-patter of . . .

rain drops! Oh no!

Tami, Debbie and Brooke are gonna cancel Halloween!!  My little campers will be deva . . . deva . . . sad!

I raced down the stairs and across the driveway and . . .

Wait a minute!  That doesn’t look like a cancellation sign, does it??

I almost forgot!  We never cancellation our recreation!  Never, ever!

But . . . would my little campers come out and play?

I never should of doubted them!

We did bubble play on the porch . . . that was fun!

And we built haunted houses in the rec hall . . .

And ghostly decorations too!

It was a great start to our weekend!  And that was only Friday . . .

Saturday dawned bright and sunny again.  Tami said she ordered it special for all our campers. That was awfully nice of her.

The kids made site markers to hand out to all the families giving out candy . . . “Make 132 of them!” I said.

“Now, Maxx,” Tami warned.  “It isn’t all about the candy you know.”

Ha! I’d believe that when I saw it.

At the Ghostly Boo Parade, Brooke handed out some cool whistles!  Parents thought they were soooo amazing, they thanked Tami over and over and over again and tried to give them back.

Look how my friends are soooo ready for the trick or treating!

But we still had lots to do before then! There were Halloween Relay games on the playing field, the water balloon slingshot and oh no!   We’ve been invaded by mummies!!!

Mummies kind of freak me out a little. I’ll just hop on over to  . . .

what?  Fang spitting!!

Who would want to spit fangs!???

It turns out, lots of my little campers do!  That kinda-sorta looks like fun.  These campers were spitting fang-seeds over and over and over and no one was yelling at them!

In fact, they were getting ribbons for the best seed spitting distances!

Cool!

The Haunted Hayride was a lot of fun too!

Our local Girl Scout Troop was camping with us this weekend. They stopped by to say hi to me and get a group photo. Awwwww!

I love all my Poland Spring campers!

6:30pm couldn’t come fast enough, though!  Everyone was ready to trick or treat!!!!

We were all ready!  But Tami said it was only 6:23pm.  “We have to wait until  6:30pm, Maxx.  No starting until the witching hour.”

Tami is such a rule-type person. Sheesh.

More and more campers kept arriving and arriving . . .

“6:25pm!” Tami called.

“My bucket is empty!” this little guy said.

“Mine too!” cried another.

“No worries,” I told them.  “We’ll start soon!”

“6:27pm!” Tami called.

 

“6:30pm!!!”

Whew!  The words I’d been waiting to hear!

“Gather ’round my little campers!!” Tami called.

She gave out her super safety rules, told the campers to be back at the store for the costume party at 7:15 sharp . . . and then she finally said . . .

“Go and trick or treat!!!”

And off they went!

 

At 7:15 I wandered back to the office and there, right in front of my eyes, was a carnival party set up for us!!  It was so cool!!  And I wasn’t the only one to think so . . .

As I walked around, checking out everyone’s Halloween bags,  errrrr, ummm, I mean, asking everyone how they were doing . . . I realized that it wasn’t all about the candy for each and every one of my little campers.

For some, it was all about the Monster Mash Snack . . .

And for others, it was all about the prizes at the games . . .

Spider Rings
Balloon Prize from the Balloon Walk

And for still others, it was the thrill of the games themselves.

Quarter Toss
Sponge Toss

Fishing for Spider Rings
Tattoos
Balloon Walk

As always, we couldn’t run all our games without our fabulous teen and Girl Scout volunteers!

You all rock!!  It wouldn’t be the same without you . . .

Now excuse me, I have to go find a certain Storm Trooper and see if I can get him to come back this weekend for Sci Fi!

Until next time!

 

Medieval Fairy Tale Weekend ~ 2017

When I stepped out of the woods on Saturday morning, I thought I’d gone back in time!

Right there in our very own office circle, was a pair of traditional blacksmiths!

While Rick and Jen worked, everyone walking by was a lord or lady, king or queen!!

What the heck was going on?  Did I go back in time?

Coooool!

Wait. What if there’s stocks?  Or gallows?  You know, sometimes, I’m kind of a naughty moose, playing tricks on Tami and stuff.  And I heard the Knights back then didn’t mess around.  My cute little face and impressive antlers weren’t going to get me out of trouble here . .. .

Waaaaaait a minute!  There’s a truck at the gate!  And Ben in the golf cart!!

I didn’t go back in time!  It’s Medieval Weekend!!!!

The blacksmiths were working hard hand-forging some cool iron work samples. I snuck a peek at their wares . . .

Fire pokers . . . key rings . . . plant hangers and even some roses!

These were Jen’s samples on her key ring. Aren’t they cool!!??

and here’s Tami’s favorite . . . a snake!!

I started looking around and WOW, did we have a ton of stuff going on!

There was a porridge eating contest . . .

Tami never lets me do that, she says it’d take too much scrubbin’ to get the oatmeal out of my fur!

But I wished I’d made it to jousting!  These kids are brave!

The viking ship races looked awesome, too.  I love all the boats!

they were so clever!

And at Arts and Crafts, we made swords and shields and crowns!

Doesn’t everyone look king-ly? And at the hayride, we were all given whistles.  Our parents and grandparents thought that was the greatest thing ever!  You know, because of all the noise we could make.

On Saturday night, Hope and her crew from Wind Over Wings arrived with their raptors . . . nature-geek Tami LOOOOOOOOVES them. Really!

This is Pippin, a Saw-Whet Owl . . .

and Tansy, an Eastern Screech Owl.  These two were shown around the room to everyone who attended.

Hope and the other Wind Over Wings Staff, told us each raptor’s story. They can’t be released back into the wild because of limitations in flight or sight.

In the case of Queen Solomon, the Great Horned Owl, she can’t be released because she became humanized after being rescued and raised by a human.

Did you know that if you find a baby bird, you CAN put it back in its nest, or close to it, and their parents will still feed them?  We didn’t know that – but we’re glad we do now!

Tami fell in love with Zachariah the first time he visited. She ended up putting a raven named Bo in her third Cooper and Packrat adventure, Mystery of the Missing Fox, after learning how smart they can be.

They are problem solvers and love to play, too!

Hope showed us how an eagle feather makes a sound when you swish it through the air.

But an owl’s feathers do not make a peep . . .

That’s so they can be stealthy and silent while hunting.

What a fun weekend!  I learned so much and had a good time, too!

Thank you, Poland Spring Campers, for coming out to play!  Visit us again soon!

Santa in July!

This morning, Tami found me swimming in the lake.

“Maxwell, you have one job and one job only, to report on the recreation. You’re two blog posts behind and Super Hero Weekend starts tomorrow. When are you going to write them?”

“I can’t hear you,” I told her, while doing the back stroke. “I have water in my ears.”

“If you don’t get them done today, you’ll be grounded for the weekend. No Super Hero Weekend for you.”

No Super Hero weekend? I jumped out of the lake. “I’ll have them done today,” I told her. “No need for grounding.”

“Pictures and all?” she asked.

“Pictures and all . . . ”

So I did the post for Pirate Weekend.  And that took a lot longer than I remembered!  Since Tami doesn’t read the blog, I’m just gonna dump all my Christmas photos right here for you all to look at so I can go to Moosey Yoga, okay?  This deadline has me stressed!

Edited to add:  Apparently Tami DOES read the blog.  So I had to go back and tell you all what we did all weekend . . . . sheesh! She’s such a mean boss!

All week long my little campers and I waited for Christmas. Not the usual Christmas, but Christmas in July!

We had story time and arts and crafts every day. We made ice cream, told scary stories by the campfire, played kickball and held bubbles.

We even made Santa water sleighs and had a sink the ship contest at the lake!

When the big day finally came, there was so much to do! Arts and Crafts, Reindeer Races, snow balloon games and even a Santa Dress Up game!

These guys fooled me for a bit . . . I thought Santa had come early! But then I realized they may have had the Santa suits, but they were a little short to be the Big Guy.

This guy fooled me too!  He’s tall enough to be Santa, and was on a roof, but he didn’t have the Santa suit.

Everybody decorated! It was so Christmasy!

By 6:30 Saturday night, everyone was so excited!! Especially me! When Santa arrived, I was jumping up and down!

This kid, played it cool though.

Santa handed out treats,

while everyone played Christmas games at the party.

And just to be clear, they all won prizes. This little camper was the only lucky duck to get a cool rock like this one.

There was cookie decorating too . . .

And I think those cookies were a big hit!!

There were sooooo many people!

Santa told Tami there were 90 little campers in all .  . . 90!  Whoa!

I’m not sure how many adults there were, but they liked meeting Santa too.

And did you know, Santa brought a couple of friends with him?  The Grinch . . .

And Frosty!   It was so good to see them.

But I had to keep both eyes on that Grinch . . . he almost stole Christmas again!!!

Tami said she loved our Christmas party, because it was all about putting smiles on the kids faces, like this little guy who’s wearing the Santa hat he made at Arts and Crafts.

At the very end, Santa handed out gifts to all the good little campers. I don’t mind telling you,  I was a little worried.

Okay, A LOT worried!

But I did get a present!  So I must have been good, right??  Just like my friends, here.

And the best part about Christmas in July???

 

We only have to wait six months to have it all again!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Fourth of July 2017

Oh, I am so embarrassed!

Tami has gotten it into her head that we all need to clear our minds and calm our souls on Thursdays, right before the busy weekends.  She added Yoga to the activity list!  I told her I wasn’t too sure about this . . .  What if my antlers get all tangled up?

But she said, “Try it! You might like it!”

So I watched my little campers for a bit . . .

and they seemed to be having fun with it, so I tried it too!

And you know what? It was kind of fun!

Our recreation schedule was full, full, full last weekend.  We had all our usual stuff, seven or eight things a day! But since it was the Fourth of July, we had some extra special activities, too.  Like our Red, White and Blue Bike parade . . .

Tami and I couldn’t believe our eyes, when we saw all the bikes roll up!

Our campers went above and beyond this year!

Even our littlest campers.

It was so much fun, you’ll have to check out the videos on Facebook.

On Saturday we had field games . . .

And the water balloon slingshot, too.

I turned around once, to find Brooke throwing a bucket of water on my little campers!  “Hey!” I told her, “you can’t pick on my friends that way!”

but they all lined up to let her throw some more!  I have some crazy friends!

The watermelon eating contest is always a huge hit!

Debbie cut up two big watermelons for it!

They ate . . .

and they ate . . .

And they ate!   It sure looked yummy!  Tami never lets me join in though. She says I’ll get my fur all sticky. Sheesh.

Sunday night, Bob Nixon magician extraordinaire, performed some amazing feats of magic for us . . .

And then he showed us his feet . . .

Don’t ask.

Monday night’s candy bar bingo was one of our biggest ever!

Such wide smiles on these winners . . .

And Look! We made mini catapults at Wacky Science on Tuesday!  That was pretty cool.

We had scavenger hunts . . .

And so very much more!  Too much to post in just one little blog post.

But if I had to pick one favorite thing from the whole Fourth of July week . . . just one thing . . .

I’d have to choose the Fourth of July Pots and Pans Parade . . .

they were loud and proud!!

We had such an awesome time last week, and we hope all our campers did, too.

Now it’s time to run the Jolly Roger up the flag pole and get ready for the crew of pirates who are due to arrive tomorrow . . .

Arrrrrrr!  We be ready for ya!

Ice Cream Social and Maxx’s Birthday!

We always have two big ice cream events in the Spring!

Tami just <3 <3 <3’s  ice cream!!

But not as much as me!

All through Saturday May 20th,  my little campers played wiffle ball, shot off water balloons with the slingshot, played bocce . .. and at every event, they all asked each other what they were bringing for a topping to share . . .

It turned out to be the best topping smorgasbord ever!  Sooooo many campers came . . . I think they love ice cream as much as Tami does!

More than me!!

Okay, I think this young man loves it more than all of us combined!!

I always love to see what kinds of sundaes my little campers create . . .

Will they load up with lots of red toppings?

Or do they like blue??

This young lady sure is enjoying her sundae!

On June 3rd, we celebrated a very, very special birthday . . .

Mine!!!

What a fun day that was!

We played birthday games,

shot off water balloons, and my little campers made cards and party hats at Arts and Crafts.

I had no idea they were planning a party though!  I was totally in the dark!

Tami told me Brooke needed to see me in the Rec Hall,

so I wandered on down . . .

What I didn’t know, is that there was  lookout behind the tree . . .

And a camper at the lights .  . .

when they saw me coming, they hushed up, shut off the lights, and waited . . .

and when I walked through the door, they yelled ~

“Surprise!”

I couldn’t believe it!

We blew out the candles on my cake together,

ate some cake and ice cream . . .

and my little campers gave me their cards.

They were all so thoughtful and full of heart!

I’ll treasure them forever and ever and ever!!

Thank you, Poland Spring Campers, for a fabulous birthday!  You’re the best!

 

 

Mother’s Day 2017

Oh my goodness!  Mother’s Day Weekend was so much fun!  Now, wouldn’t you think “Mother’s Day Weekend” means it’s supposed to be all about the Moms?

But, we played kickball in the playing field, and none of the Moms showed.

And we had arts and crafts at the rec hall, and none of the Moms showed there either.

I was so confused!!!

 

“Where are they all?” I asked.  “I’ve searched high and low and I just can’t find them!”

Tami patted me on the back and gave me that AWWW-you’re-so-cute  smile. “They’re back at their campsites, Maxx.”

“But, but, they’re all alone out there!  My little campers and I are about to do a scavenger hunt, and then it’s time for water balloon target practice!  I’m going out to find them.”

“No,” she said. “Leave them be. They’re enjoying their day.”

Sheesh! How can they enjoy their day without a turn in the bouncy house?

When all the fun was winding down, some of the little campers stopped by the store to pick out some flowers for their moms . . . .

Which was really nice and all.  “Well, my little friends had a ton of fun,” I told Tami.  “I sure hope the Moms weren’t too bored, though.”

“Maxx, you worry too much. Trust me. They had a great time.”

I guess she knows what she’s talking about. She’s a Mom too, but  I don’t know how you can have fun, when you don’t get your turn in the bouncy house.

 

Halloween One!

What a lucky Moose I am!!

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I get to have two Halloween Parties every year!

Two!!

Once in October on the “real” Halloween, and again in August!

I think I like the August one better though – ’cause we have cool activities like Story Time and Bocci and Bubble Play and  . . .

making Lake Monsters!

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We don’t make Lake Monsters in October!

We do the usual weekend stuff too, like Arts and Crafts and water balloon slingshot and jewelry making and Horseshoes and a scavenger hunt.

Whew! That’s a lot of stuff!

But we have different things too, like blowing our whistles and marching in a Pumpkin Parade!

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and having a Witch’s Stew Eating Contest!

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(I always want to eat the stew too, but Tami won’t let me. She says it’ll get in my fur!)

We had only one glitch in the whole weekend – there was a shower at Hayride time. *heavy sigh*  But Debbie and Brooke had this really cool idea and they told all the kids to meet them at the Rec Hall.

“What are they doing?” I asked Tami.

“Creating Frankenstein Monsters,” she said. The phone rang and she picked it up.

“Frankenstein Monsters?” I cried. “Isn’t that dangerous!? I mean you know what happened to the villagers in the book, right?”  Tami shot me her pipe-down-so-I-can-hear-the-customer-on-the-phone-look.  You know the one.

So I ran to the Rec Hall, before they all did something crazy . . .

And I found this  . . .

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Boy, was I embarrassed!  They weren’t making reeeeeeal, Frankenstein Monsters.

Or were they?

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At 6:30, Tami gathered all our little campers at the office for a special announcement and some Trick or Treating rules. As usual, all we kids  heard was blah-blah-blah-blaaaaah.  All we could think about was the candy.

Just when I thought she was going to tell us all to begin- she made us pose for a photo!

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And she wasn’t done there!  She kept stopping everyone, making them pose and telling them how adorable they were . . . and clever . . . and scary . . .

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I kept whispering, “Tami! We want to go get the candy!”

But she kept saying, “Just one more!”

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Yeah. Her one more is really like a gazillion more.

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She followed us down the street, taking picture after picture after picture!

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“You’d better get back and set up the party!” I tried distracting her.

“What time is it?” she asked, snapping another photo.

“Seven o’clock,” I said.

She was off like a shot to the rec hall!  Luckily, Debbie and Brooke had everything taken care of. Whew!

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There were lots of fun games . . .

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And I got to hang out with all my little campers for a bit.

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I even got to try a game or two!

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Now, I wasn’t cheating here . . . it only loooooks like I was stepping over the line.

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There were cool prizes like spiders to scare Tami with . . .

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And vampire teeth, too!

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And we had Witch’s fingers and Goblin punch for a snack!

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Yes! I’m the luckiest moose in the world, ’cause I get two Hallowee-

What?

I get three?

Oh! Right!  We’re going to do it all again THIS weekend too!

Woo-Hoo!!

I can’t wait!

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Santa Was Here! Santa Was Here!

Gotta love having Santa visit in July!!

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Unleeeeeess, you’ve been a naughty moose.

But I convinced Santa I changed my ways!  No more butt in the ice chest.  No more trying to steal the golf cart. No more trying to get on the hayride.

We had a great time last weekend!
It all started with our usual list of activities – Debbie and Brooke have fun stuff to do every day  – all day!  THIS weekend though, they loaded up with Christmasy stuff . . .

Like making Santa hats at arts and crafts!

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And playing field games, and having a snowball-waterballoon toss,jewelry making, parent/child horseshoe tournament and lots more!

By the time it was Sleigh Ride time . . .

okay, HAYride time . . .

my little campers were asking Tami and Debbie and Brooke over and over and over again when Santa was coming.

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Tami said, “Soon! I just talked to Santa and he’s on his way down from the North Pole!”

Debbie and Brooke handed out kazoos to distract us.

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We played them on the Sleigh Ride to help get everyone in the whooooole campground in the Christmas Spirit.  Although the Moms and Dads kept putting their hands over their ears.

I wonder what that means?

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Finally, after supper, it was time!  We all gathered at the campground entrance to wait for the Big Guy himself.

I asked Tami, “When will we know when he gets here?”

“Oh, you’ll know,” she assured me.

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Because Santa arrives in style!

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While Santa sat and talked to every little camper here . . .

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We played lots and lots of carnival style games, run by our teen volunteers!

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For prizes!!

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And I can’t forget the lazy man s’mores!

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We were all having so much fun with Frosty,

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the Grinch

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and Santa

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that we almost forgot about the handing-out-the-presents thing!

We all lined up and listened carefully for our names . . .

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Imagine! Christmas Presents . . .

In July!

From *gasp* Santa, himself!!

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Hanging out with Santa never, ever, ever gets old.

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Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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Memorial Day Weekend was soooooooo . . .

much . . .

FUN!!

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We had arts and crafts, the waterballoon slingshot, jewelry making, relay races, a scavenger hunt, and . . .

A Pots and Pans Parade!!  We made really loud noisemakers and Debbie and Brooke gave us whistles too. They told us to go wake everyone up.

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So we did.

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We had a hayride too!  That was tons of fun!

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I even got over the the pool, to say hello to all my little campers.

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AND we played candy bar bingo!!!

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And that was all just Saturday fun!  You should’ve seen Sunday . . .

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We have lots and lots of cool stuff planned this Spring and Summer!  If you haven’t made your reservations, now’s the time!!

Great Horned Owls

Opening weekend at our campground came and went, with plenty of campers checking in to help us rake and clean up the campground. Campfires blazed at night, kids road bikes and played on the campground together after the long winter.

Tami just blah-blah-blahed the whole time with the campers about how many eaglets we had this year and whether or not the loons were nesting yet.

Everyone went home on Sunday, and when Friday rolled around, they all returned. Tami went out to check on the eagles while I played with the kids and helped Debbie and Brooke plan our summer recreation.  Suddenly Tami went running by with her camera.

“Hey-” I called. But she was gone!

I followed her, thinking she’d seen a snapping turtle laying eggs. Or a chickadee nest. Or an oriole’s hanging nest.

But it was none of those things. It was a pair of Great Horned Eaglets!

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Twenty six years Tami and Dave have owned this piece of property. Tami used to tell me how she walked around the campground always looking up – and tripping over tree roots – trying to catch a glimpse of an owl nest. But she could count on only one hand the number of times she’d spied an owl.

Our campers only saw this pair because a piece of the nest fell, and someone  looked up to find these adorable owlets looking back at them. They never heard a peep or a hoot the weekend before. Owls can be silent. Very silent.

The day was gray, but Tami took picture after picture after picture. David thought she’d never come home!  They she researched Great Horned Owls into the early morning hours. She talked for days and days and days about them!

It turns out, their nest disintegrating is normal. And they rarely return to the same place to nest again.

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The next morning, one of my little campers came to the office with her phone. She’d woken up and looked out her camper window to find one of the owlets on the ground looking up at her!  Again, Tami did research and found that owlets on the ground is not necessarily a bad thing either.  This helps them strengthen their leg muscles, and their beaks and talons will help them climb to a new perch.  The best thing we can do, Tami told her, was to keep our distance.

(That owlet hasn’t been seen since, but I believe I’ve heard it)

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The owlet left in the tree started branching, venturing further and further from the trunk of the tree.

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Tami went down Monday after school.

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The little owl cleaned between his toes and slept an awful lot.

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She went down Tuesday.

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On Wednesday, Tami came home from school and grabbed her camera. Diane told her, she hadn’t seen the owlet that morning.  But when Tami went down, it was there! Only on  a different branch.

Had it fledged and come back?

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Tami took mega photos, and thank goodness she did. ‘Cause on Thursday, the owlet wasn’t there. Not on any of the branches.

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Again today, it wasn’t there either.

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We never did see an adult all week, but we aren’t worried. Tami’s research says the adult is perched in a nearby tree, all part of the plan for this little one to take flight and hunt for itself.

(side note: owlets can eat 13-16 mice per night at just 3-4 weeks old!)

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We’re so happy to have had a chance to see these great raptors live and up close. I’m sure Tami is going to be walking and looking up for quite a while to come!