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Owl and Willow Brain Journal

My buddy Seanan McGuire has been texting me for bird IDs lately, which culminated today when an owl flew into her window, screamed, and attacked her when she went outside to check on it. (Twitter was a delight today as a result!) She called me at the coffee shop, and I stood outside alarming passersby by saying things like...well, like this.

Good times! (Owl was fine. Seanan's got a background in wildlife rehab, if not in birds. Her house may belong to the owl now, though.)

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I want to be your guide in the Everglades!

Such fun!

(For those who, like me, find "Twitter was a delight today as a result" to be inescapable crackbait, some links: Much of the adventure, in Storify form, Seanan's Twitter feed, and Ursula's Twitter feed. And, yes, that was indeed a delight even without getting it in real time.)

Also, I find that imagining the logical conclusion of you saying "Possibly she was not as thrilled by this as I would have been" and her saying "This is the best day of my life" about the dispatched mockingbird is overloading my squee-meter.

*reads feeds*

*falls out of bed laughing*


Ow, my tummy.

Thank you. This was the antidote I needed to today.

You're my humor hero for today! Thank you!

I know better than to read this kind of stuff at work.
No, really, I do know better.
*gonna 'splode in little gory pieces all over my desk from trying not to laugh out loud...*

As someone who has had a dead bird in her freezer already this year and who has gone outside to check on a thumped raptor already this month, I LOLed so hard at this.

Is willow brain edible?
I love cloud ear fungus and have bags of dried fungus in my kitchen.

It is apparently of "dubious edibility", and since Ursula is not expert enough to be 100% positive on her mushroom IDs, she probably shouldn't put any she finds in her mouth like...ever.

I miss dealing with birds like this. I really need to re-qualify for my rescue licences.

Oh, yeah, you're over here.

Hi. how've ya been?

I'm good! How are you!?

Very good! Finished my degree and employed by Omnicom for over a year, so all the corporate benefits, but my subsidiary company is only 5 people, so we feel like a start-up.

Kids are still alive, going to Montessori school, Jessica is publishing her first book and chairing lots of committees and such in the academic world (partnering with art historians from St. Kate's and Macalaster). And there is a chance we'll go to Geneva this summer, she's presenting at a conference on the Poetics of Lactation.

Woohoo! That's awesome! I'm so glad you're doing well!

I continue to exist, more or less as always. Kevin's good, kids aren't dead and will be moving out soon, we have a coonhound and the decrepit beagle and multiple cats. I write books still.

About two years ago, before I moved from my rental to my own house, I went out on the back deck for a cigarette before bed...and realized there was something LARGE on the roof. Killed the outside lights and let my eyes adjust...and, yep, Great Horned Owl, full-grown, and hunting the rabbits and field rats on the canal bank behind the house. Easily 3' tall. This is why my cat lives strictly indoors (well, in the old place it was owls, here it's eagles...)

I dunno. I'm having a hard time visualizing Seanan being daunted by a mere Great Horned Owl.

Have you seen one? They're huge for flying birds -- roughly 2 feet long with a wingspan around 4 feet, and talons like velociraptors. I think even Toby would hesitate to tangle with one.

I wasn't questioning the dauntingness of GHOs, only Seanan's dauntability. I mean…emus? Cobras? Not easily daunted. (GHOs aren't any bigger than red tails, when it comes to it.)

I think it's the flying. I would take the cobra over the flying horned owl.

Nothing mere about Great Horned Owls. Red-tails are nothing to a GHO.

GHOs have very strong feet.They can clamp on your hand in such a way that a talon [or talons, depending on exactly how they grabbed you] goes through your hand from the back and comes out your palm, and another talon [or talons] goes through your palm and out the back. And you are not strong enough to make the owl let go.

And they are ferocious.

I have seen my red winged blackbirds this past two weeks...

I knew a rottweiler named Willow. The most lovely, friendly, cheerful dog you could imagine, but away chasing butterflies when brains were handed out. I now imagine that her large head was mostly empty, with a little piece of Willow Brain sitting there going "whee!"

So that's what that fungus is called. Our elder tree was afflicted with it.

I have just read the adventure of the Great Horned Owl and had to show it to my daughter who wondered what all the laughter was about.

I must admit I would have been thrilled by a visitation by such a large owl - with or without a letter from Hogwarts!

Reading your Livejournal is a freaking delight. Never in my life would I have thought I'd be happy to read about things like willow brains and bat guano, but that's life for ya. :D

I think that Ms. McGuire had a visit from Mister Soft Owl:


Note: that particular comic is mildly NSFW, many many others on the site are *very* NSFW...

Edited at 2016-02-19 04:06 am (UTC)

I once sat in my driveway watching a Cooper's Hawk disembowel a pigeon. I didn't dare get out of the car for fear of startling it. She eventually got tired of my watching her and grabbed her bird and took it with her, leaving a huge mess of bloody feathers.

She was amazing.

It pleases me that Seanan calls you to find out about the owl attacking her through her window. That's an interesting world to know about.

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