Photos of the Week - Week 51


Critique Group Challenge: 

Week 51, Its a Gift

Photo by Gail Garber

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Gail says: 

The Gift of Life! Little did any of us know what was in store on Friday, December 22. When a New Mexico birder, Leslie Harrington Duffey, used the outhouse at the Ladd S. Gordon Waterfowl Complex. Something in the pit of the toilet caused her to look downward, where she saw an owl, trapped in the toxic excrement below. She sounded the alert, posting on the Birding New Mexico Facebook page, and frantically trying to find someone at the refuge who could help free the trapped owl (still of unknown species). It wasn't long before our Raptor Rescue hotline got the call and began working to solve the problem of the owl trapped in toxic toilet water. Management went out to inspect the toilet and reported that the stall was empty, upon which our dispatcher went ballistic and informed them that the owl was in the pit below, not the toilet! They returned and managed to free the owl from it's toxic grave. Covered in excrement, cold and wet, Chellye Porter set out to retrieve the owl the instant they told her they had captured it.

With the owl, now identified as a Barn Owl, probably male, now in her care, we could not put him into the incubator, because the air circulation could cause him to inhale toxins from the bacterial soup in which he had been trapped for an unknown time. Extremely thin, extremely cold, and in critical condition, his survival was tremulous. We administered subcutaneous fluids, antibiotics, pain meds, and put him in the warmest, sunniest room in her house. He was not stable enough to endure anything more. However, we had to get the crap off of him before he began feeling well enough to try to clean his feathers himself and ingested the toxins.

Yesterday afternoon, little owl was a little stronger and we made the plan to try to wash him using standard protocol for cleaning oiled birds, using Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (the go to detergent for cleaning oiled birds and wildlife). With multiple tubs and human hands he was passed from tub to tub, each one cleaner than previous. It was quick work as excrement is easier to remove than oil!

Then, the drying began, hence this photo of him in a chamber with warm air blowing on him, much like an old-fashioned hair dryer. Still his body temperature dropped so low that it did not register on the thermometer. Finally, we packed him in a smallish box, wrapped in warm towels and placed on a portable pet heating pad for the drive home.

Today, all dried off, and beginning to look and feel like the Barn Owl that he formerly was, he's beginning to show threat displays toward Chellye, his angel in waiting and nurse extraordinaire!

Our next hurdle will happen tomorrow when we attempt to offer him his first solid food after days of liquid diet.

I've been posting about this on my Facebook and Instagram pages, including multiple photos from his first arrival.

It is a Christmas Miracle

That someone found him in the pit
That management was able to free him
That he is a a fighter, denying death every step of the way
That we have an amazng network of veterinarians and animal hospitals that donate their time, expertise and equipment.
That we established the Raptor Rescue hotline back in 2013, so that there is a phone number to call!

I was thinking that I wouldn't have a submission this week. I've missed many lately due to too much travel and too much work.


52-Week Photo Challenge Class
Week 51 - Light Painting


Week 52 Photo Challenge:

Week 51, Light Painting

Photo by Elspeth Davis

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Elspeth  says:  



Smart Phone Photo Challenges
Week 51 - Candlelight

Smart Phone Challenge:

Week 51, Candlelight

Photo by Margie Clark

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Margie says: 

Candlelight playing with the petals and leaves of the poinsettia against the magical background of decorative lights in my backyard with a butterfly entering the scene. Photo taken in Portrait mode, Stage Light.



Ricky's Challenge Photos

Smart Phone Challenge:

Week 51, Candlelight

Photo by Ricky Tims

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Ricky says:

The candle was on a ledge with this vase and twigs. I like the simple compotision, but also the various textrues - wall, vase, twigs. The purple is the color of the jar, so it cast onto the wall.




Critique Group Challenge:

Week 51, Its a Gift

Photo by Ricky Tims
from the 2023 Critique Group

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Ricky says:

Shot Dec 23 looking out my studio window. it might be tiring for others to see images of this rock formation (Autumn Rock), for me, it's magical. It's the sole reason I purchased this property in 2002. For me it is sacred, energizing, spiritual, and emotional. The views from the house change minute by minute. I never tire of seeing what is outside. The weather changes moods and brings drama. During this week's challeng, a morning with beautiful filtered light, and a gentle shaft of light illuminated Autumn Rock long enough for me to grab my camera and get this shot. The lovely orange are the oaks that have returned sint the fire, but are now dormant. The few surviving evergreens are regal and I am fortunate that this little group was spared. The delicate snow is fresh, and provides extra beauty on the landscape. All of this... to me... is a gift. I will leave it behind someday soon, but will treasure each moment I was lucky enough to call this home.


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