When my sisters, brothers and I were little, Grandma would gather our fat little cheeks in the palms of her hands, put her forehead in the other side of her tunneled hands and in the dark little cave she created with her hands say….
“Hoo – Hoo…Hoo are you?”
It’s a memory that still makes me smile and a sweet tradition I have passed down to all my children and grandchildren.
That memory was also the genesis of Owl Day for the girls.
(My Grandma also taught me how to swing a chicken so the head would slip off, so all were relieved to hear that I decided on Owl Day for Camp. The alternative might have been….well….disturbing).
On the morning of Owl Day, the girls tumbled down the stairs and were thrilled to find owl kleenex, owl note pads, owl paddleballs and owl finger puppets. (It turns out that owls are pretty popular, so finding owl tchotckes wasn’t at all difficult).
They didn’t waste any time.
…they blew their noses. (Why black and white? The light in my kitchen is horrible…just horrible).
Owl Day had begun.
For breakfast, I “borrowed” an idea from my lovely sister-in-law, Denise, and made pink chocolate chip owl pancakes with cookie cutters (I threw in some fruit to offset the pinky chocolatey sweetness of the syrupy owls).
the girls got busy making owl pillows.
They had to tie knots on the pillow fringe.
(It worked better when they used their hands).
Naturally, the dolls had to have their own pillows as well.
“You Hoo….” (get it? Hoo? Yoo Hoo?)
“Can you come out and play”? (Rocks, Googly Eyes and a Glue Gun = surprisingly cute owls).
The owls hid themselves around the yard and left “clues” for the girls.
The girls went here..
Sometimes the owls were very well hidden.
Sometimes the girls had to get just a little dirty.
As soon as Luci read the clues….
….Mackenzie and Sophie were off like a shot.
Sophie thought it might be better if everyone walked…
….well..maybe a run-walk.
Ultimately, they found every one of the owl rocks (and now, all the Mommies and Daddies of these three determined little girls have an eyrie of rock owls rattling around the house. Your welcome).
BTW, an eyrie of owls is just one way of describing a group of owls. Will you be surprised if I tell you I became obsessed with the different descriptions of owls?
(I would have continued, but couldn’t think of anything for a “diss” of owls.)
As the day progressed, I thought it might be a good idea if we tried to find some of these elusive owls.
Fortunately, we have an amazing Nature Center not too far from home.
We searched high and low for owls.
(I “let” Grampy take the girls up the 80 foot tower while I toodled around on ground level and took pictures of berries. I’m generous that way).
I have to admit, my heart was in my throat when I looked up to see those three little (very little) girls on that very high (although caged) tower. Excuse me….where’s Grampy?
I was happy when they finally came down from the top of the tower.
This guy is a Great Horned Owl. He’s also called the Tiger Owl.
They also had a Barred Owl (the only owl without yellow eyes). This guy seems a little cuddlier than the Horned Owl.
We visited all the other animals in the Nature Center as well…
…but my most vivid memory is of the wolves. We’ve been to the nature center several times over the years and seldom see the wolves, but on this particular day they were out and about.
As these sweet little girls went into the woods (they forgot their red capes), the wolves sensed their approach. They loped down to the fence.
They never once took their eyes off the girls. It might have been my imagination, but I thought I heard one of the girls say “what nice teeth you have” and equally sure I heard a wolf whisper back…..“all the better to eat you”.
It was time to go home.
I had some more owl projects for this group of willing campers.
The girls got busy sorting…
…and made the cutest little sock owls (and 1 little tree frog).
When I had first thought of Owl Day, I was determined that the girls would dissect some owl scat. I didn’t want Girl’s camp to be too girly-girly and I figured owl scat would be just yucky enough to entertain.
For the unitiated, owl scat (or owl pellets) are the undigested remains (feathers, fur, bones and some ucky stuff) of owl prey. Because owls don’t have teeth, they can’t chew their food. They swallow it whole or in large chunks and then slowly digest their meal. They can’t digest the harder materials, fur and feathers so the owl regurgitates it all in the form of a pellet.
The girls broke some bones (broke pretzels) shmooshed in some fur (oatmeal) and mixed in the unmentionable bits (peanut butter).
Yummy. I poured a chocolate mixture to hold the whole thing together (yes, I will share the recipe).
See? Just like owl scat.
We also made some owl cinnamon buns (although I think they look more like Angry Birds).
Back at the craft table, Counselor Luci helped Mackenzie and Sophie felt little owls on to some change purses.
The felter has a lot of needles. Luci was great at helping the girls keep their fingers puncture free.
Seriously, how fun is this? I have to thank sister, Karen, for this idea.
So cute (the purses are cute, too).
We were owled out, but after showers and pj’s, we ended the night with a screening of the Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.