End of September…the beginning of “getting ready for the holiday season”….there is no time like it. The stores are now festooned with, believe it or not, Christmas decorations and gift promotions. For those of us a little horrified by this, and I am not alone, the Halloween ‘stuff’ seems lost in the shuffle. Maybe it has already been purchased and is ready to spring forth on front porches and yards to greet the onslaught of Halloween gremlins.
In a matter of weeks the neighborhoods come alive with sparkly princesses, swaggering pirates, and sweaty little pumpkins who move in rivulets through the streets reaping sweet rewards, depositing them in disposable bags to be censored by alert parents. It is critical to be on the lookout for anything that might be harmful…think calories, bad skin, empty nutrition.
It is my job to make a plea for our other neighbors at Halloween….and of course that would be our wildlife neighbors. You can be pretty sure that if you have bales of hay and delightful pumpkin patches in your desert front yards, you will get a nocturnal visit from the javelina family that lives in nearby washes during the day. If they are lured in by this over the charts dining experience they cross streets they maybe shouldn’t cross….and become victims of speeding cars on dark evenings. That is very bad for the javelina and not too good for the speeding car for that matter.
Another seemingly innocuous danger to the other neighbors is that tricky fake spider webbing that looks so cool strewn across the porch with the occasional black spider nestled in it. Kids love it. The effect is spooky as it is meant to be….so real looking. And, it is so real looking that the unsuspecting screech owl finds the spider irresistible. When the quiet settles on the night, the folks have gone to bed, the intrepid screech owl makes a dash for the spider only to find that it is hopelessly entwined in this plastic and unforgiving “web”. This ends up in a lengthy struggle to get away and usually means the little owl will be inextricably caught as it struggles to get free. If it is lucky and is found when the folks get up, it might end up at Liberty Wildlife. But all too often it is too late. Take down the fake spider webs…deadly at night and as deadly in the daytime for lizards, hummingbirds and other small critters unaware of its killing capacity.
I am sure there are other festive decorations that should be seriously considered when you are getting into the holiday spirit. Far be it for me to be the Grinch that stole your holiday! My message is merely for you to give it a little thought before applying the latest new item….how might it be dangerous to the neighbors that don’t trick or treat in the traditional way?
This Week at Liberty
The intake total is now at 3507.
We have a short update this week. The window is really quiet and I can only put just so many pictures of people sweeping the floors! (Plus, I was counting on getting some shots of our new phone and computer lines going in but the cable folks never showed up – what else is new?) So, here’s a couple of things that saw as notable this week…
Recently Kathy Hagerty got to release one of our barn owl rehabs. (I don’t know who took the photo, but thanks for submitting it!) As always, we try to pick a spot that will provide a suitable habitat for all birds that we set free and from this photo, it looks like this owl will have a great place to start its new life!
This is the time of year when in addition to wellness checks, all the education birds get their equipment inspected. In the case of Chaco, this is critical as she can be difficult to handle if her jesses are damaged or too short. If they are a bit long, she has a habit of biting them and damaging the holes for the leash clip. Last week, it was noticed that she had indeed elongated the holes so Max and Jan did some careful maintenance on them as the flight programs at the Hyatt are coming up.
And so, the clean up continues… Last week, Sharon and Joanie took the time to replace the covering on some of the perches on the rehab side. The carpeted lining was replaced with astro-turf which provides a better footing and and less chance for inadvertent injury to sensitive feet. At the same time, Alex was on hand to cut some of the food we get from Hickman’s egg farm. This is a serious task which can be dangerous to the untrained and careless.