Owl Adventures is a mobile zoo and educational business which has a static display on the grounds of the Museum Gardens in York, UK. While visiting York with the Englishman, we wandered across the display of owls in the garden. I veered from the path so I could watch all of the owls, each sitting atop a stand. The Englishman’s father generously paid for me to hold an owl while learning about it. There was a variety of owls of all shapes and sizes and I had difficulty choosing just one. The Englishman picked out the tiniest owl for me. The falconer placed a colossal leather glove on my hand and presented me with George, the American ground owl. We had to move slightly away from the larger owls because they were making George nervous. Apparently George could be a “meal” in the real world. Not only could I hold George and stroke his soft feathers under his head, I was given a lesson on him, too.
American ground owls or burrowing owls eat insects, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and other birds depending on the time of year and what is available. The beetle is a favorite meal. A burrowing owl is most active at dawn and dusk. They live in burrows dug by other animals in open, treeless spaces, and in the United States and they are often found in burrows of prairie dogs.
I was smitten with the bitty bird. He was calm and seemed to enjoy being touched just as much as I enjoyed having the owl perched on my gloved hand. So, while I did so many touristy things in York including exploring York Minister, walking a part of the wall, strolling through the town and floating down the river on the tour boat, the best part was the chance to hold an owl on a beautiful fall afternoon.
Charlie loves to accompany us on quick shopping trips. Last year, after his rabies vaccination, we brought him into Home Depot with us so we could keep an eye on him in case of an adverse reaction. He rode around happily in the child seat at the top, his brown body wedged perfectly inside. Since then, we have brought him with us to Home Depot, Lowe's and Tractor Supply as pets are welcome.
A few weekends ago, Charlie insisted on riding along when we took a quick trip to the local Lowe's. I spread a towel on the bottom of the cart to make it more comfortable for him and he peered through the metal grid of the cart at things that interested him. I headed to the garden center and found the dangerous clearance section. I pushed Charlie to the front of the cart and started filling the back of the cart with plants. Quickly I realized that I was running out of room and would soon need to make a choice. Charlie was worried that my choice would be to add more plants and he looked up at me with big pleading brown eyes. The Englishman suddenly appeared, chastised me and plucked the poor dachshund from the flowers that were surrounding him. "Don't worry" he said stroking Charlie's head, "Dad's got you". He left the garden center with Charlie in tow. I headed to the cashier and realized I was stuck with the bill, once again.
The Englishman and I were spending the day in Richmond, United Kingdom wandering around the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The gardens are located outside of London and preserves thousands of plants, trees and other botanical specimens within 300 acres. It is considered the largest and most diverse collection in the world.
There were several places to eat and have a cup of tea within the gardens and we chose the Victoria Plaza Shop which was a café and gift shop before heading to the Treetop Walkway. The Englishman and I picked an outside table to sip steaming mugs of peppermint tea and share a sausage roll and an orange plum cake between us. Birds scampered about hoping for a dropped crumb. I heard a rustling in the bushes lining the path and watched with quiet fascination as a male peacock appeared in the courtyard. He walked across the cement slabs, oblivious to the tourists walking nearby and approached the automatic glass doors to the gift shop. Too small to trigger the door to open, the peacock waited patiently for a person to exit. All of the outside tables became still as we waited to see if the peacock would gain access. Alas, it was just a window shopping adventure and the peacock soon strutted to another part of the garden. We waited until he departed before continuing our own adventures in the gardens.