Dear Kid,

Your Dad is generally a smart man.

For example, he could have said, “Want to go to a dinner event with me?” at which point I would have had to think up 4,862 creative ways to say, “No.

Instead, he said, “Do you want to go to the Little Miami Conservancy’s dinner where Raptor Inc will have birds and Thane Maynard will be the keynote speaker?”

Um, yes. Raptors and Thane Maynard? Of freakin’ course!


So last night we went to the event.

I got there first (I’ll wait while you roll your eyes and say “Of COURSE you got there first.”). There weren’t many people around the raptors which was weird because LIVE RAPTORS. I immediately snagged the spot closest to the raptor people (and by “closest” I mean about 6 atoms away from the birds and by “raptor people” I mean the people that the raptors brought with them because birds don’t know how to drive).

First I met Lucy the Peregrine Falcon. She’s gorgeous. I was close enough to see her nares. Get your mind out of the gutter. “Nares” means nostrils. And Peregrine Falcons have a boney tubercle in each nare which directs airflow so that their brains don’t explode when they dive. The nares are such an exceptional design that jet engines are modeled after them. So pretty much when you’re in an airplane you’re there courtesy of a peregrine’s shnoz.

Lucy the Peregrine Falcon

Then I met Sylvester the Great Horned Owl (have I told you how much I love those Raptor Inc people?). I’ve never been that close to a GHO and Sylvester is beautiful. His eyes are stunning. And enormous. Golden. He was beautifully behaved. (Sometimes he casts a pellet in public. And we say “casts a pellet” because he is a classy guy and “pukes up lunch remnants” is not classy.)

Sylvester the Great Horned Owl does not need to suffer succotash since he's served mice, quail, and other delicacies.

If you’re in the area, go see the raptors the last Sunday of each month (March – November) from 1pm to 4pm. Well worth it.

Fred Shaw, the Shawnee storyteller, gave the blessing which was beautiful. (When was the last time you heard me say that?) Then food, then Thane.

Our very own 90 Second Naturalist told stories about the Little Miami River and then he talked about Fiona, the Zoo’s preemie hippo. Hard to know which is sweeter—Fiona or the cake they served for dessert.

Thane Maynard talking about Fiona the baby hippo.

Love, Mom

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