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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, February 7, 2014

Give a hoot!

The weather the last three days has been rather icky, so I’ve pretty much been rig bound.  I’ll be leading a tour for 29 visiting seniors on Monday, so this morning I headed into headquarters to get some things ready.    That didn’t take much time, so I went along for a bit with a Texas forest specialist as he helped us identify different tree species along the trail outside the Visitors Center at headquarters.  The plan is to put up identification signs with info on the different species.  Even though I only had 15 minutes, it was very educational.  This guy really knew his trees!

I had to dash off for my last physical therapy appointment for my shoulder.  Thankfully, my shoulder is as good as new without surgery, and I am ecstatic.  Why the horrible pain rather suddenly went away, I’ll never know.  At this point, I don’t care why, I’m just glad it did.  The therapist gave me one of those rubbery/stretchy type things to take with me so I can continue the exercises on my own.  I’m still doing some of those hip exercises every evening, so now I’ll just add my shoulders to the routine.

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Afterwards, I headed to the refuge to take a drive around Shoveler Pond to see what was around in preparation for Monday’s tour.  The usual suspects were there … coots, moorhens, blue-winged teals, and egrets.  One pair of Canvasback ducks was paddling away, and that was notable.  They’re not terribly common here.

It was overcast, cold (in the 30’s), and windy.  I thought about just going home, but decided to press on and pick up litter on some of the other refuge roads.  Despite the weather, I still need to get in my 24 hours each week.  I’m sure glad I did, as there was a real treat in store for me.

short-eared owl

Sitting on a post along the road to Frozen Point was a short-eared owl.  What a hoot!  These owls usually are most active at dusk and dawn, and otherwise are quite elusive.  With the coming rain and dark skies, it certainly simulated dusk. 

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Did you know that the ears in owls are asymmetrical?  That means the ear opening on one side of their head is higher than the opening on the other side.   This lopsidedness along with the concave feathered facial disks directs all sounds to the ears, and allows them to hunt solely by sound.  Pretty amazing to me.

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This owl breeds here and makes its nest in the marsh, not in a tree.  The number of eggs it lays is also dependent on the abundance of prey.  The more mice and other rodents, birds, and bugs around, the more eggs they lay.  I really like the coloring of their feathers.  Even the backs of their heads are beautiful.  And get a load of those talons!  They don’t ever need a pedicure.  Eye rolling smile

Later, I made plans with another volunteer to have her accompany me on my bird survey on Sunday.  The weather is supposed to improve by then so we should have good viewing conditions.  It will also be nice to have someone do the recording as I count all those ducks and shorebirds. 

Well, it’s about time to watch the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics, so I’ll close for tonight.

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                                                                               THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

33 comments:

  1. I am so glad for you that PT was able to take care of your shoulder. If you had surgery, you would still be faced with long hours of PT! Great pictures of the owl.s

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  2. Yeah! Great news about your shoulder!!! Love the pics of the owl too...what a beauty!

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  3. Glad to hear the news about your shoulder. No surgery is a great thing. That owl is just incredible looking. I always thought that they had super eye sight and never knew they used their hearing to hunt.

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  4. That owl is beautiful - great pics. I had a third shot in my shoulder about a week ago and it is feeling better now. Glad yours is too. Shoulders can be a real problem as there is really no way to rest them.

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  5. I am so glad to hear your shoulder is AOK...great news!
    I am so wanting to photograph an owl. I do believe they are my favorite birds. I usually spent a week or so teaching my kindergarten class all about them every November. One day, I hope I am as lucky as you were today to see one! Absolutely beautiful!

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  6. I'm doing the happy dance for you.... Great news about your shoulder. Loved your little owl friend!

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  7. Great news that your shoulder is feeling better! Means you can get out and take those great photos! I love the owl - I've only seen a couple on the wild and only from far away - your photo is great!

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  8. Good to hear your shoulder is better.
    How big is the owl it sure is a beauty

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  9. Wonderful news about your shoulder. I love the owl photos. They are such beautiful, unusual looking birds. I didn't know about the ears. And that beautiful circle on their faces. Very interesting. One year when I was working we were following some nesting owls on-line that were in the San Diego area. It was really interesting. They had nesting boxes way up on a pole with cameras inside. I didn't know anything about owls until then. :)

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  10. It is amazing what some P.T. will do...My arm is much better, but not quite up to par... How neat to see those owls...I love the Birds of Prey, and we do hear the owls here, but don't see them...Warmer tomorrow here too....WOOT!WOOT!

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  11. From the sounds of your PT success with your shoulder and hip, you'll be doing the Macarena perfectly in no time! :c)

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  12. If you keep collecting exercise gear, you might need a bigger rig for the gym room!

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  13. I'll add my glad your shoulder got better w/o surgery to the list. A friend of mine loves owls, so I am going to copy your pics
    and description about the ears and email to her, she'll love it

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  14. Better without surgery! Those exercises must have done the job. Great news. Love the owl... no matter which directions he's facing.

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  15. What a great find and glad to hear your pain diminished. Now you can keep taking those great photos.

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  16. The weather is going to be so much better come Monday...about time!

    Thanks for the little lesson about the owl. I knew none of those facts. What great photos also!

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  17. Happy to hear your shoulder is feeling better. Mysterious pains and aches are ... well, a pain ... but at least it didn't require serious surgery or some such to be done to eliminate it

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  18. Wow--pretty amazing owl photos Judy!!! I had the same kind of shoulder pain which went on for at least two years--I was thinking I would have to have rotator cuff surgery but instead had my shoulder injected and my massage therapist worked on me HARD--no more pain!!

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  19. I'm jealous that the owl waited for and posed for you. (What a hoot? - Shame on you for that pun!) Love to see one. How long will you be an Ana-whack?

    PS - Hooray for P/T.

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  20. HI Judith:
    First off, fantastic news about your shoulder recovery. And secondly, I'm heading west from LA beginning next Wednesday and want to see a little of the Texas gulf coast. Any chance we might be able to meet for a cuppa' say around and about the 15th or 16th?
    Love your owl photos and I didn't know that about the placement of the ears - amazing!

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  21. Keep up with those shoulder exercises, Judy, and you could be in the next Olympics yourself! Glad it got better without the dreaded surgery!

    Great Owl photos!

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  22. Glad to hear the shoulder is pain free! Love the owl. Was wondering...do you have any pictures of roadrunners?

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  23. The owl is very handsome! I bet your shot finally kicked in...sometimes it takes a while and a shot is so much better than surgery:)

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  24. You really did get some fantastic shots of the owl. So glad the PT helped your shoulder, any time you can head off surgery is good!!

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  25. WOW! So glad you got to see that owl and he (she?) posed so nicely! That must be wonderful...I'd never get to see one like this without you sharing, so thank you so much! Glad the shoulder is better too...good news on all accounts!

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  26. WOW! So glad you got to see that owl and he (she?) posed so nicely! That must be wonderful...I'd never get to see one like this without you sharing, so thank you so much! Glad the shoulder is better too...good news on all accounts!

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  27. Love the owl!!! Great news about the shoulder, keep up those stretches!

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  28. Outstanding pictures of the Short-eared Owl. What a great find. SO happy to hear that the PT worked out for your shoulder. Those therapists can work miracles!

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  29. Your comment about giving a tour to seniors reminds me. Earlier today a fellow NOMAD on the project here was telling me she was going on a tour somewhere with a group. When they got there, the guide was thrilled. The guide was told it was a group of seniors. She was thinking High School Seniors. Was thrilled when it was a group of OLD PEOPLE!

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  30. Your pond swimmers sound like what we saw daily in Flamingo except no shovelers or canvasbacks. Fabulous owl pictures. What a hoot is right. What a wonderful experience. Just look at those eyes. SO glad to hear your shoulder responded to the PT. I know you are too. Keep it up and you can avoid the surgery. I would LOVE to record for you if you are still counting by the time I get there.

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  31. It is wonderful that you were to able see the owl and get such great photos.

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  32. It's great that you didn't have to resort to surgery to eliminate your shoulder pain. While you may never know what exactly caused its abrupt disappearance, you can take solace to the fact that you won't have to endure surgery, which would have to be proceeded with more visits to your therapist. So basically, you just culled one step, not only saving you misery but money as well. Take care!
    Marisa Chadbourne @ TouchOfHealthNY.com

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  33. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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