Rescue organization saves injured birds

Lisa Lightner

As soon as I complete this week’s column and e-mail it over, my thoughts will turn to a different task—packing for the beach!

I was invited to participate in a media event down at Avalon, right in front of The Golden Inn at 78th Street. The Travel Channel will be there with SandMan Matt from The Sand Masters. Do you watch that show? I’ve seen a few and have been having a great time watching the videos online.

The Sand Masters build those really, really cool and intricate sand castles and sand sculptures on the beach. I’m taking my kids and we’re going to learn how to do it. Hopefully for next week’s column I’ll be able to share some pictures and some tips on how you can do it too. This is definitely an outdoor activity I haven’t done before, and we are very much looking forward to it.

If you’re tired of the heat and looking for some lower-key activities, you may want to visit the Butterfly House at Springton Manor Farm. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this summer. When you visit, you’ll learn the importance of butterflies and their role in our ecologic system, and get tips on creating your own butterfly habitat in your yard. I don’t know if we have an actual habitat in our yard, but we do have several butterfly bushes that are very active. We’ve even begun to work on our butterfly identification skills, as an add-on to our bird identification skills. It’s fun and the kids really enjoy it. Of course, my 3-year-old now only recognizes two types of insects—butterflies and stinkbugs. He knows what a butterfly is and everything else is a stinkbug. Visit chesco.org for more information on visiting the house, because hours vary with the weather.

Many years ago, I came home one day to find a very dazed and confused bird of prey sitting in my driveway. I quickly deduced that he was just a baby, and had probably flown into our sliding glass doors and was trying to regroup. He didn’t move when I approached him and I did have time to go get a camera and get some pictures of him. I was afraid that I would end up trying to capture this thing, which although was still a baby, a bit bigger than what I’d be comfortable handling, and taking it down to Tri State Bird Rescue.

That didn’t end up happening because as I e-mailed the photos to them, he was able to gather his bearings and leave. Tri State told me that it was a kestrel. I’m only rambling on about this, because I’ve recently learned that Wolf’s Hollow County Park in Atglen actually has a very healthy kestrel population. I haven’t seen one since that day, and it was probably around 2000 or 2001. Anyway, on Aug. 4, at Wolf’s Hollow, they are having a walk and information session at 9:30 a.m. They’ll be looking for and learning about kestrels, the smallest falcons. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear comfortable shoes. This event is also available on Chesco.org if you want more information.

And speaking of birds of prey, if you look at the website, you’ll also find information about their “Turkey Vulture Appreciation” programs.

That’s where I draw the line! I am willing to take heat for calling the crows and blackbirds ugly, so you all probably know I’m not a fan of the turkey vulture. I’m thankful for the job that they do, but do they have to look so scary while they are doing it? It’s something right out of a movie. So now I’ll go full circle with column and go back to daydreaming about something more pleasant…like sandcastles!

Outdoor enthusiast Lisa Lightner lives in Avondale.