Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Owl Ridge General Store

Every year the wonderful staff at Owl Ridge General Store invite REGI to their annual anniversary celebration! The second weekend in June is always made up of fun, food, music, and many of REGI’s owl friends. The weather was less than perfect this year. As you can see, I had to dig out my winter parka and mittens from my closet for the event on Sunday. Brrrr!! However, the gusty winds and cold temperatures did not stop the festival atmosphere. In fact the owner’s of Owl Ridge said Saturday was their highest sales day EVER. This was my second Owl Ridge anniversary and I have to say I recognized many of the same people from last year. It is wonderful to see the community supporting a local business.

Adults and children alike were lining up outside REGI’s tent to catch a glimpse at our five species of owls we brought this year including a: Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Barn Owl, Eastern Screech Owl (both red and grey color phases), and Northern Saw-whet Owl. The REGI tent was full of action people of all ages asking questions, taking pictures, and learning some fun facts about each species. Festival events are different than our typical programs because we only have few brief minuets with each visitor. During this short time we hope to convey the importance and respect these beautiful creatures deserve. The REGI staff, interns, and volunteers this year greatly enjoyed interacting with all the visitors and Owl Ridge's staff. Thank you to Steve and Evelyn Fisher and Lance Holm for running the REGI booth on Saturday. Thank you to Natasha Siegel and Aprill Jaeger for helping me out on Sunday.

Our favorite memory from Sunday had to be a young boy who wanted a picture next to the stump of our Barn Owl. As his mother carefully aimed the camera the young boy turned to the owl and politely told him to say cheese. Hopefully, the close encounter with the owls that day and the memories in the picture will be carried with that young boy as he grows up.

To the left is our beautiful Barn Owl, Rhomey. He looks a little confused as to why that young boy told him to say cheese. He likes mice way more than cheese!

REGI often displays our owls in stumps like this one. A Barn Owl is a cavity nester so he feels more comfortable and protected inside his stump. It also allows REGI the opportunity to teach more about their habitat needs.

To the right is Bart, an Eastern Screech owl. He is also enjoying the comfort of his stump. He liked it in there so much he slept most of the day away as visitors walked passed and took pictures.

Nicole Swanson

Pictures taken by REGI intern, Aprill Jaeger.

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