So Sunday was my birthday, and I had a blast with my family celebrating it.
I had nerd fun on my birthday this year. We kicked off my birthday Saturday night by going to an Owl Prowl at Oakwoods Metropark, with my brother and his wife. The weather was going to be cold and in the 20s, so we all bundled up in our warmest outdoor gear, complete with thick fleece gloves and hats that covered our ears. Prior to taking to the woods, Oakwoods has a presentation about owls, discussing things like which owls live in and visit Michigan, what myths about owls are true, and about the general biology of what makes an owl an owl. After the presentation, everyone trooped outside, where the dark devoured us. Out there in the woods, there was not a lot of light, other than the one flashlight our guide Roni was carrying. She asked that we not shine lights of our own, because it could potentially frighten the owls away, leaving us to hike through the cold, dark woods without hope of seeing an owl.
We were hoping to spot an Eastern Screech Owl on our walk. They have a very distinctive call, which to me sounds like a ghost or a horse. Roni would walk us to a point in the woods where screeches had been spotted before, walk up a bit ahead of us, turn off her flashlight, and play a recording of a screech owl call. This is what pulls them in to us, basically calling them to the group. Owls have silent flight, so we wouldn't be able to hear them fly in. Instead, we were to watch for them flying in along the horizon, or to listen for them calling back to us. We were rewarded for our efforts by three sightings of two Screech Owls! They are so cute and little, about 8 inches tall.
That pic was taken during the day, although we were out at night. I found the cold walk in the woods invigorating; there was just something about that made us feel so alive.
The next morning my husband my husband made me hot chocolate pancakes, which were amazing! After breakfast we spent a few hours at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, just wandering around. I love to see it all decorated for Christmas. Later that evening, we went to my mom's for dinner, and she made my favorite, macaroni and cheese. No matter how old I get, I will always love mac and cheese! Lol. I also was lucky enough to receive a few gifts! My family knows me very well - from my brother and sister-in-law, I received a necklace with a camera pendant, and a leather journal; from my mom, a window nesting box for birds, and an owl print; my husband got me the warmest, comfiest sweater boots, which I have on my feet as I type! I love them and feel they will get a lot of wear this winter. They were all so thoughtful, but the best part was when we were sitting around my mom's living room after dinner, all cozy and warm, and we went around the room saying nice things about each other. It was spur of the moment but one of those moments you remember. Is sounds hokey, I know, or like something out of Little House but for some reason it just evolved into conversation, and it was actually very nice.
All in all it was a wonderful birthday!
And if you haven't told your family so lately, let them know you love them, and how much they mean to you. The holidays are coming and it is the perfect time.