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An unexpected visitor

IMG_3940-200-wideAs usual, harvest is an exciting time of the year, and since our winery sits on a 4,300-acre ranch, some days bring even more thrill than we planned for. We still talk about the year when the black bear prowled around the winery and made the screaming crush crew take cover in the office.

This week brought its own unusual encounter with wildlife. As the crew reported for work, they were met by a beautiful Great Horned Owl in deep distress. Apparently, the majestic bird got stuck on a barb when flapping the wings too close to the winery fence.

IMG_3941-200-wideA call to Animal Control provided no assistance, so Matt, Christian, and a visitor decided to attempt their own rescue mission. A gentle approach with a hand showed that the critter had a friendly mind, and while Matt grabbed the bird with glowed hands, the visitor held on to the barbed wire, and Christian pulled the pruning shears out to cut the wire.

What happened next made us think that the owl had spent the time wisely and planned ahead, well aware that the captured wing was too week for flying right away. As soon as Matt set the bird down, it walked away, crossed a cattle IMG_3943-300wideguard on wobbly feet and disappeared under a big shrub. When we checked a couple of hours later, it had left.

For several months, a Great Horned Owl was perched on top of a power pole every day at dusk. We like to think that it was our instant friend that liked the area enough to hang around.



Else Ahlmann

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