It’s one of the best things ever when my trusty iPhone buzzes and I look down to see “Jay Coles” on the incoming call screen.
He’s my dear friend, yes. But in addition to that, he’s Executive Director of Carolina Wildlife Center, an organization here in the Midlands of South Carolina that works tirelessly to care for and rehabilitate orphaned and injured animals. Jay is a committed, passionate leader who always has interesting things going on. When I hear from him, I know it will be good.
“Whatcha doing?” he asks when I hit the hello button.
“On the treadmill,” I huff.
“Wanna go on a release?” he says.
“What kind?” I ask (as if it matters).
There’s a smile in his voice. “Purple Martin,” he says.
A short time later he picks me up and we drive to the end of Old Chapin Road, just where it meets Lake Murray. “Know what that is?” Jay asks, pointing across the water to an island just beyond. “Bomb Island.”
Well, of course. Jay would know to bring the bird to this spot where, released to the wild for the first time after months of rehabilitation, it might just find a flock. A half million Purple Martins roost on Bomb Island for a few weeks in late summer, you see. So any minute now thousands of them will come flying across the water. Jay supposes that if we let our little guy go, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll find his way across the lake to join the others.
“Ready?” he says to me and I feel as nervous and giddy as if it were my maiden flight. “Let’s do it,” I say.
Jay gently lifts the top from the container. I look in, and sure enough, there he is.
If you’d like to learn more about Carolina Wildlife Center and their important work, click here. It’s a nonprofit I love and one that is significantly underfunded. With no state or federal money, CWC treats more than 3500 orphaned and injured animals a year, responds to more than 10,000 hotline questions, and presents animal and conservation education to thousands of children and adults–with many, many hours donated by dedicated volunteers and insufficiently funded staff. (So much of the donated money must go to supplies for the animals.) Needless to say, they are grateful for $$ donations of any size! They particularly love Sustaining Donors who give $10, $20 or $50 a month. More info can be found here. Also, follow Carolina Wildlife Center on Facebook. No matter where you live in the world, you’ll be delighted to see the precious animal photos and videos that will roll through your feed!
30 Days Of Fun III
Did you have some summer fun today? Leave details in the comments below, or better yet, send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also post to instagram with hashtag #30DaysOfFunTDG or to my TheDailyGraceBlog Facebook page. I’d love to share it here!
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