Hogwarts in the suburbs?
Most of you might think that Hogwarts is a magical little place buried deep within the realms of the countryside, far, far away from all known muggledom. In reality it seems it is much closer than you would think. You see Andy neglected to tell me that the local school for youngens is no less a prep school for the mystical realm of Hogwarts. To any muggle born (you and me hopefully), it just looks like any other normal school, but to the young witches and wizards of the valley worlds, it is the start to their new magical life where treasures abound everywhere. While this school isn’t a boarding school, it is one where the transition into Hogwarts is made to be a little gentler, the inmates getting to go home to mum and dad each night.
Yeah, maybe I should leave this kind of story-telling to those who can actually write awesome stories, and I will just get back to letting you know what I have actually been up to since my arresting last entry.
For those who actually give two hoots, today was the day I met a local bird enthusiast who keeps owls (and now I apologise for the 2 hoots line). And while I’m apologising, we met him (Brian the owl keeper) outside the front of the nearby primary school (Hence the bad Hogwarts reference too... Maybe I should have gone with Hogwarts being a disease instead) while we were waiting with Andy’s sister, Caroline, for his niece and nephew to finish schooling for the day.
Anyway, Brian is just a small part of a much larger group that care for and show these beautiful creatures to help educate and give awareness to the majestic world of birds of prey. I had the pleasure of meeting 3 of his gorgeous owls that afternoon. Two were fully grown, one still a “baby” (even though with all his fluffy feathers, he is actually bigger than his older brother!!).
|Check out the owls album here|
One of the owls (the smallest of the three) was being taught how to behave, as Brian explained, he had been sent up from Wales as he had been a very naughty boy, but having been rehabilitated, he was going back soon a much happier and better behaved owl.
As already suggested, Brian and his owls are only a small part of the North Wales Bird Trust. Brian is also looking to open up a regional branch of the trust at Rawtenstall within the near future.
Considering their deadly nature, the birds are incredibly soft to touch and are really well behaved even though you have to keep in mind they are still wild animals. Weighing in at only four and a half pounds though, it is really easy to forget they are perched on your arms even though their talons are capable of applying sufficient pressure to crack a human skull.
It was truly an awe inspiring time I spent being in the presence of these splendid owls and after a fun 20 mins of playing with them, it was time for us to continue on our way back to the flat. It was a wet and cold day that day and I was the only person in Rawtenstall that needed to warm up. Can anyone say SOOK?
Feel free to check out the North Wales Bird Trust link, and if you can, please donate to this very worthy cause.