Saturday, December 21, 2014. Some of the Gravel Cyclist crew were partaking in a road ride, with 70 miles of meandering on the agenda.
Three of the ride’s attendees were resplendent in their new Gravel Cyclist kits, which had arrived the day before. More on the kit, and the rapido production process in another post.
This would be one of those rides, where things weren’t going so perfectly.
“Gravel” the Owl
We were ambling along, heading out of Gainesville along Hawthorne Road. I (JOM) was in the conversation zone, and didn’t happen to notice the injured Screech Owl laying in the bike lane. However, Nature Boy, whose eyesight and awareness of all creatures great and small are far superior to mine, called “Owl!”, and promptly turned around.
Most of the group screeched to a halt to see what was going on.
Nature Boy was spot on. Originally laying in the bike lane, but now relocated to the grass along the sidewalk (footpath if you’re an Aussie), lay an injured Screech Owl. He / she was completely cognizant of our presence, wings seemed to be in perfect order, it’s little noggin was rotating owl style, surveying these weird, lycra clad strangers.
“Gravel”, as the owl is now called, sensed we may be dangerous, and made like a bandit for the woods adjacent to the sidewalk. Nature Boy, ever the conservationist, took off after Gravel, crashing around in the thick underbrush in pursuit. Two minutes later, Nature Boy appeared, triumphant, with one injured Screech Owl in his hands. The little dear had one eye closed, so we’re suspecting it is suffering a concussion?
Off to Rehabilitation
Accompanying us on Saturday’s ride was Mrs K-Dogg. She knows a lot about veterinary related affairs, and made a call to University of Florida’s Small Animal Hospital, to arrange priority acceptance of Gravel the Owl.
Nature Boy’s wife (sorry ladies, he’s taken), hauled a$$ from their abode to collect Nature Boy and Gravel the Owl, to drop off at the Small Animal Hospital. Nature Boy, his wife (Mrs Brown), Mrs K-Dogg, and UF’s Small Animal Hospital, all need to be commended for their kindheartedness during Saturday’s ride!
The motto of the story here – be kind to animals and your fellow man. Stop and render assistance.
Sunday December 21, 2014 Update
Gravel the Owl is eating on its own, and is scheduled to have ophthalmology and neurology exams tomorrow. We are optimistic little Gravel may pull through!
Cross your fingers!