Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nature Boys

My Russell is a dyed in the wool nature boy. He has a long history and fascination with the outdoors in general, fishing and snakes in particular.

He saved his little brother from being bitten by a baby rattlesnake when he was about 12, when his family lived in the hills of Saugus. He even caught a rattle snake on a hike for a Father and Son’s when my oldest was about 2 ½, and carried the snake in one hand and my baby in the other down the mountain. Only (to make a long story short) to bring the rattler home in a burlap sack to later BBQ it and eat it ("it tastes like chicken" says he).
He enjoys sharing his love of the outdoors and his skills with his friends and family.
All of our kids have been exposed to dad’s love of nature, and they have taken up one form of it or another. Hiking, camping, fishing, surfing, and critters. Skyler enjoys fishing the most, and has a definite common love for Heavenly Father’s creatures.
Hence this past week we have had a course in the care and feeding of sparrow hawk chicks at our house. Not that the momma bird wasn’t doing a good job, she dropped a beheaded lizard, and a dead baby bird for her baby to eat. Russell and Skyler took it a step further in their quest to compete with the momma bird and bought "feeder" mice, killed them and fed them to the bird.

Notice the proud papa grin on Russell’s face as Skyler holds the baby perched on
his gloved hand.

Skyler made a night time home for the baby in a cardboard box as he did not want any cats, possums, raccoons, all of which live in our neighborhood, to snatch the baby up.
The following day, Skyler was on the phone with Dad to see if he could go by the house on his lunch hour to check on the bird, and called his brother to see if he could see the bird. When we came home that afternoon, his bird friend was sitting perched on our utility trailer, along with her little brother bird.
More feeding and more holding, protecting and urging. After a few days, the first baby was flying, and by Sunday they were both flying, even tumbling on the

neighbor’s roof fighting over food. Hey, that sounds like some kids I know!

Today our feathered friends seem to have flown the coop, independent little things…we think we can still hear their familiar cries…I think it sounds something like "thank you brother birds"……


Kim (Davis) Loudon said...

WOW! How cool is that!?!?!?!?! It's not everyday you get to care for and hold baby hawks!
How is your eye? It just dawned on me that you looked beautiful as ever when I saw you last...is it better? Hope so! Love!

SHIRLEY'S said...

looks like the family I know!

Mark & Lisa said...

AHHHH!!! He brought it home??? Alive??

Em said...

Wow! Talk about a cool hobby! i have never been into animals much less snakes, but I love hearing that other people are and I do love nature!

Kris said...

I love being able to know what is happening with your family! We miss you!

Pedersens said...

Its fun to watch a bird fly and know that you actually helped it grow to get to that step.

PS I HATE snakes!! I cant even watch them on TV... they creep me out!

Katrina and Jeff said...

Sheryl good to see you blogging. Now I can keep up with you and your family. Fun to see Bishop in his element. We still miss you guys so much!

Mama Bear said...

Wow, your boys stay busy! Robert would be jealous...he's quite the bird-lover, too! He is always telling me that all the siblings teased him and called him "nature boy" when he was little. Funny, huh? I guess loving nature is something that runs in the family! :)

Grammy Staffy said...

Hi Sheryl,
What a great story. I'm glad to find your blog. Isn't blogging fun. I'll enjoy keeping up with your activities. I will add you to my blog list. Let me know if that is not o.k. with you.

Have a good weekend. Love, Lura

p.s. my address is
I'd love to hear from you if you have time to drop by.

Russell, Julie & Sadie Holmes said...

i love this... i am such an animal rescuer... growing up with my mom you pretty much end up loving any & all animals.