Monday, October 10, 2011

Rebecca and her owl

We flew across the pond to visit an owl. Yes, I know that sounds crazy. Here’s the backstory:

Almost a year ago, Rebecca stumbled upon the Kathryn Lasky series of books about owls, The Guardians of Ga’hoole.  To say she read them quickly is a massive understatement; she devoured them. And she fell in love with owls.

With Christmas money she bought owl reference books. My dad gave her an owl guide book from his personal library. She researched owls online and began telling us all about the different kinds of owls out there (over 200, in case you’re interested). She drew owls, wrote stories about owls and anytime we were out and she spotted an owl anything, she beamed.

One of her resources is a website for the World Owl Trust, an organization located in Ravenglass, in northwest England. She would visit that site daily, watching the videos of the owls and their keepers. And she started talking about the owl adoption plan they have to help support their conservation work.

For her birthday last February, we “adopted” her favorite owl in her name and I don’t think she’s ever been so excited about a birthday present in all her 11 years. And with the adoption came a link to a webcam that’s trained on Sparky’s nest 24/7, a feed she watches daily.

(This is my way to have a pet. It lives 3,000 miles away and someone else scoops the poop.)

So when we decided to use some travel vouchers to go to England, we knew we had to pop by and see Sparky. I emailed Jen at WOT who arranged a time for Rebecca to personally meet Sparky. Vicky, the keeper who helped us, was so wonderful – she answered all our questions, and asked several that only Rebecca knew the answers to.

The visit to Sparky was on our last day in England and even though we’d seen castles and towers and the Crown Jewels I have to say seeing Rebecca with her owl was the highlight of the trip.

Just goes to show you never know where a good book will lead you.

Many thanks to Vicky!