A special thanks to Hillary and John Davidson who hosted us yesterday at their beautiful home near Warrenton, Virginia, for the “End of Summer Hootin’ Good Time.”
In addition to fabulous food, lovely live music and many interesting friends and neighbors, a highlight of the evening was the release of two adolescent Great Horned owls rehabilitated by Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Boyce, Virginia. This pair had fallen out of their nests as owlets this spring and were rescued by good Samaritans who took them to Blue Ridge. There, they were nurtured and fed, taught to fly and hunt before their big day arrived to join their own kind in the wild.
Dr. Belinda Burwell, the Blue Ridge Wildlife director and staff veterinarian, releases the first owl, who soared off into the sunset and toward a dense wooded area at the corner of the farm.
Hillary waited a minute before releasing the second owl, who flew up to a tall tree in Hillary’s yard. There it sat for a few minutes allowing us to observe it while it surveyed the vast new territory. After a few minutes, the owl took wing and soared off.
In addition to a great party, the event also served as an educational fund-raiser for the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center as they seek funding for a new building. Guests were introduced to other wildlife, including a skunk, turtles, a rat snake, an Eastern Screech owl and a Red-Tailed hawk. It was a great evening and a wonderful way to say good-bye to summer.