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Super Saturday

In the last week or so, Pam and I have had our eye on the sky. Both of us noticed unusually bright lights visible in the early morning before dawn. Naturally we had to find out what was happening and the link I provided tells you just that. Photographing both the night sky, and the moon, is easier in the wee hours of the morning because there is a smidgen of light. I rather like this shot I took of the post full moon.
On several early mornings of last week I tried to photograph the visible planets with very little success, however, this does give you a notion of how bright they were.
Had I not been too lazy to set up the tripod I might have done better, however, I was, so this is the best I could do!

Later Friday, I called Pam to compare notes on the morning sky. During our conversation, she asked if I wanted to meet her at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center for a quilt show later in the afternoon. Sure thing!! 

Speaking of quilts to celebrate completing a quilt I'd been working on for one month, Bruce and I went for lunch at Mama B's Subs. Beats us how the place has been in business for FIFTY years because the subs were mediocre at best, and this photograph pretty much tells you how they run the place.
Unbelievable right? It was my suggestion...a little trip down memory lane. Years and years ago, while working at a place called Prime Care, a few miles down Orange Avenue, every now and again, someone would pick up subs from Mama B's for lunch. Recently, while driving by, I thought to try it again. Poor thinking on my part. So much for nostalgia.

As to the quilt show--not only amazing, but inspiring as well! The skill involved, as well as the creativity was mind boggling. These are not ordinary quilts my friends. Take a look at this one!
Wild, crazy and amazing, it is covered with tiny sparkly things too. The quilt below was quite the antithesis to the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree above.
It's a shame the light above detracts because both Pam and I agreed on how intriguing it is in person. Another two of my favorites, the quilters used digital photography transfers, beads, glue, as well as other materials.
There are fourteen displayed quilts, each a work of art in their own right. Well worth the visit!

Has anyone been watching Longmire on Netfilx? We sure have. Our Friday night date was binge watching the show. 

Because the lawn is finally not growing like a weed, Saturday we were free to play. Now, if it would only cool off--still crazy hot and humid. As in 90 degree hot! Anyway, several weeks ago Bruce pointed out a notice in the newspaper for an upcoming Fall Owl Fest at the Avian Reconditioning Center in Apopka. Checking their website, I discovered it is scheduled for November 14, however, I thought, why not go today instead? And so we did.

Driving down Lester Road, we drove right by it which turned into a good thing! Adjacent to the center is Errol Equestrian Center. Never having seen anything like that up close, we pulled right in, parked, and watched the lessons for a while. 
The lady in the pink shirt apparently runs the center, and I'm showing you this because in the far background you see the Avian Center as well. It was fascinating watching the girls perfect their jumps. The horse above was Bruce's favorite, and don't get me wrong, I was enthralled as well, but this gray stole my heart.
So, that was good and it only got better from there. Walking up to the Avian Center, you first see this:
The buildings in the back, we were soon to discover, are where the birds are rehabilitated. Called "mews", one of them is over 100 feet long as to allow the birds complete free flight before being released back into the wild. The majority of the folks pictured were men with long, and I mean long, lensed cameras. No surprise there. 

The owner is a skilled falconer, not anything I've ever witnessed before. Part of their mission is education, thus we were treated to a short demonstration of how they train the birds. This is Cora, a Peregrine Falcon getting ready to fly for food.
In a nod to the here and now, rather than a balloon, the man uses a drone to send food with a parachute way high in the air. After releasing Cora, she flew all around, flying ever higher with each circle. Eventually she grabbed the food mid-air.
A crowd gathered to watch her eat the rat which I'm sparing you of photographic evidence. Under the shed there were, as I recall, about fourteen birds on perches, including kites, owls, hawks, and the falcon. What birds do you suppose were my favorites? 

I was pretty darn smitten with Henry, the Great Horned Owl, who kept turning his head around every time I tried to take his photograph! Eventually I got one, or two, or three...
The little Screech Owl, sitting atop a mailbox, set up as a resting place, was unbelievably cute.
I was so captivated, in person I did not even notice the difference in her/his eyes. The European Barn Owls were fascinating. Their feathers so different than any owls I've seen before.
Isn't that unusual? I'm pretty sure the above is a female because we learned that the females are always larger in birds of prey.
So, those are the owls, and here are a few types of hawks being held by volunteers on the outside, and the owner in the middle.
Another volunteer did a demonstration with the Red Shouldered Hawk, who was the noisiest bird of the bunch. We learned that when you hear a hawk, it is probably that type.
Mostly run by volunteers, including some teens we met in the Education Center where the Kestrels are housed. Never heard of a Kestrel? Tiny little falcons is what they are. According to their website, Falcor had a wing injury when young, and is unable to survive in the wild. Cute little guy, isn't he?
Here is the female, Callie, also unable to survive in the wild, however, for a very different reason. 
Apparently, raised from birth by humans, she is unable to act like a "bird." The stripes on her face are to reduce glare, somewhat like football players using black under their eyes. Or so they told us. :)
Another thing we learned is that bird of prey always have curved beaks. So, when in doubt, steer clear of a curved beaked bird!!

We finished off our little journey with a mediocre bar-b-que lunch at Bubbalou's in Apopka, a Florida State win in football, four teenagers as trick or treaters and more college football.

My idea of a Super Saturday!

Gail



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