Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 10 and counting

Well, I'm on day 10 and counting for Katie and William to find their owl box.  No sightings yet.  We had an ice storm last week on Wednesday night and it continued into Thursday.  The picture tells the story of how things looked here in Central Kentucky, so even if the owls had sighted the box they would have had no way to check out the interior.  Things are finally melting today and so maybe the door to the box won't be blocked by icicles by this afternoon, the sun is actually shinning although temperatures still remain in the high 20's.  The weather men are actually predicting a white Christmas for us which is fairly unusual. 

I've sent all my owl box information to the Salato Wildlife Refuge which is located here in Frankfort where I live.  I've been in contact with the Avian Biologist, Kathrine who has been very helpful. Although our state does not have the funds to send her out to my house, she has been very helpful through e-mail and phone conversations.  She is so pleased to have another nesting site in Kentucky and was very excited about the camera.  Her e-mail however did say:   

"Wow!  What a beautiful box!  So I guess you will know the minute something starts using it.  Don’t be surprised if you see some screech owls or even a hawk roost in there while you await your barn owls!

Thanks for your efforts.  Would be great to have barn owls in Franklin Co.  Let me know if you see any activity.  A lot of our owls are banded!  Something else to watch for.  :^)"

    Come to find out there are only 23 nesting pair of barn owls in Kentucky that she knows about.  She keeps track of them and has actually banded the babies of the nesting pair.  Here in Central Kentucky we used to produce large tobacco crops.  With that came many barns and so nesting areas, but over the years tobacco has not been the crop it used to be in Kentucky and those old barns have been left in disrepair giving our little owls less options for nesting.  Clearly Katherine is keeping her fingers crossed for the box as much as we are.

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season, after all once this season is over then you know the days are getting longer and spring is on the way!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The raising of the owl box!

The owl box went up on Thursday, December 9, 2010.  Rio Grande Fence Co. in Frankfort, KY did the project.  Big Thanks to Mark Reib and his crew!  Great job. 

Now waiting on Katie and William to move in.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Boy the Challenges

Well, lessons have been learned so far, with the most important being:  When you are doing something with your family they have your best interest at heart.  They want you to be successful and they give you constant positive feedback.  I think that is what has me still going now 3 weeks after my return from building the box with Uncle Jim and Aunt Nancy.  It is also a reminder of how much I miss my Mom.  She was my constant cheerleader and supporter.  She would really be enjoying this project.  I'm sure she is watching and rooting me on!

The first week back I spent time searching for the pole that I would mount the owl box on.  I found a place to buy a brand new piece of pipe but it was kind of expensive.  People kept telling me I should be able to find a recycled piece for a better deal.  So the search was on......I called and called.....I shopped and shopped.....People gave me more advice.....and more advice......When I found myself wanting to go onto strangers property because I thought I might have seen a piece of pipe that would work.....I decided it was time to take safety first and buy the pipe. Before that could be done however it was Thanksgiving week and we were going to the beach.  It was a great trip and very relaxing, it let me step back from this project a little and remember "This is suppose to be fun!".  Once back in town, I called and ordered my 19 feet of 2 inch galvanized pole and it was delivered the next day. 

I'm now "on-call" with the fence guy for putting up the pole.  This part makes me even more anxious.  I'm about to rely on several men, whom I will be giving directions to such as......
1.  Please screw this pipe into this floor flange, the owl box must stay stationary
2.  Please spot weld it into place. 
3.  Please dig the hole 4 feet deep
4.  Be very careful as you lift the pole/box into the air.
5.  Are you sure it is straight.  Please get the level so we know for sure.
6.  Make sure the door of the house is facing the correct direction
7.  Now put in the cement.  Mix it rich enough that it will set up in the cold temperatures
8.  Keep it stable and level, does it need to be braced?
9.  Let me make sure the camera is working

I'm not sure they know what they have signed up for.  I'm the girl that if my hair ribbon was not tied perfectly with the ends being even then my Mom had to start over, I'm the girl whose scrapbook pages have to be perfect even if it takes me 2 hours to get a page done, I'm for sure the girl who wants her owl box to be done perfectly!

The best addition has been that my Uncle wrote a song about the owl box. I don't think I can express how much this means to me. I love music so much and it is a complete affirmation of what this entire project means to me. I have put it to music and will share it soon. 

In honor of both the raising of the owl box and the release of the new song, I actually went out and bought the new flip video camcorder today.  This will allow me to post the video on-line so it will be documented for posterity.

And so.......The magic of The Kentucky Owl Box continues.