A Wisdom of Owls

April 21, 2012

A Wisdom of Owls

A Wisdom of Owls, a novel by Mary Pat Hyland.

I just finished reading Mary Pat Hyland’s fictional humorous romance novel based on the experiences that happen in the owl box. What a fun read, especially if you were around during the first clutch when all the drama was happening for the first time. You will recognize many of the events that actually happened. Mary does a wonderful job of weaving them into her romantic story which takes place in upper New York State. I also connected with the owl box lexicons she used such as deet, deet, deet, gag-shag and plotz. The realness of the book brought back many wonderful memories and also some tears.

Once I started, I stayed up most the night reading the book. I won’t say I couldn’t put it down, only that I didn’t and at around 6 AM this morning when I was finishing the book,  I realized I had forgotten to go to bed. This emotional little romantic book is about people and owls. A Wisdom of Owls, is only 275 pages but it has a little bit of everything, from chat room drama to Internet hope and happiness. As a warning, Hyland’s story telling style may give you watery eyes from time to time, I know I used a box of Kleenex as the story took many unexpected and highly emotional twist and turns.

You can get your copy of A Wisdom of Owls on Amazon.com Amazon.com  I recommend it.


About the author

Mary Pat Hyland


Mary Pat Hyland grew up in a creative upstate New York family. Her mother was a fashion illustrator/art teacher as well as a talented writer. Her siblings are skilled musicians, artists, photographers, poets, teachers and writers.

Mary Pat studied art and music at Syracuse University where she earned a BFA Illustration. She worked as a graphic artist/designer/art director for many years before a layoff forced her into a new field of work: journalism. She spent 15 years in the field, including several years as a syndicated web site columnist for Gannett News Service —her columns were carried in more than 90 newspapers across the U.S. and Canada (including USA Today).

In late 2007, Hyland left journalism to pursue a dream she’d had for more than 20 years: novelist. A month later, the novel she’d been working on for more than a decade was published. A dream came true.

Hyland’s writing awards include 2006 Best of Gannett Breaking News (staff flood coverage); 2005 First Place Editorials, New York State Associated Press; 2006 Honorable Mention Columns, N.Y.S. Associated Press; 2004 Honorable Mention Editorials, N.Y.S. Associated Press; 2004 & 2003 Special Mention Columns, Syracuse Press Club.

She resides in the Southern Tier of upstate New York. Her interests include Gaeilge—the Irish language, music, dance, gardening, Finger Lakes wines and cooking.



Molly Update: Molly rejected her young suitor, so for now The Owl Box is empty.

All the best,

Carlos, Donna and Austin

P.S. Do you know what A Wisdom of Owls means? Hint: It is different than the wisdom of owls.

Other Goodies  (Mother’s Day is coming up May 13th)

Have you ordered your personal copies of the Molly Songs? If not be sure to check them out on iTunes.

Music:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/barbara-allen/id428385724

Merchandise:  www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl

Photo of McGee by Carlos Royal   http://www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl.628020845

Books:  www.mollytheowlbooks.com

Movies:  www.austin4media.com

2012 Calendar   www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl

Austin’s Designs (Your purchases help him pay for his schooling)   http://www.cafepress.com/austin4media

89 Responses to “A Wisdom of Owls”

  1. Wolfgirl44 Says:

    A wisdom of owls is the name for a group of owls, I believe.
    Sounds like a fun book, I’ll check it out.

  2. patty kalk Says:

    bings tearrs to my eyes just reading the story line. it is a must have for me. hope molly finds true love again. i sure miss her and her adventurs..

  3. ytq (@ytq1) Says:

    A wisdom of owls is a parliment of owls; a group.

  4. mandozee Says:

    hope its put out as an audio book soon…. mandozee1888

  5. Nhptown Says:

    So wonderful to open my email and find one from the Royals. I thank you for the reading tip and look forward to more updates as you have time.

  6. VSue Says:

    A group of owls is called a parliament actually (had to look it up) LOL

    But I love Wisdom better…much better! For I feel that when I got hooked and OBSESSIVE over owls during Clutch 2 I gained so much wisdom!

    Thank you so much for keeping the information flowing.

    I so miss the regular Chatz and video too but I know with you enjoying time with travel…so I truly appreciate everything you send my way-THANK YOU!!!
    As for the book, I always love a great book to read whgen I get time so this is now at the top of my reading list.

    Blessings and thank you again for sharing the information

  7. Karen Robinson Says:

    Thanks for update and book review!

  8. jamma louisiana Says:

    thanks so much for the update…i love to read and will get this book as so as possible…hope molly finds a mate soon…jamma

  9. Joan from Colorado Says:

    I still thinkk of the Royal family and the Molly story so often..I hope that you continue to check in and give updates

  10. Chris in Olympia, WA aka cbbrunner Says:

    Love Mary Pat’s books and especially this one! I met her through one of the chat rooms for Molly & McGee. So glad she was able to tell you about it and you had a chance to read it. :) I recommend all her books.

  11. Torre Says:

    Sounds like a great book! I’ll check it out. Thanks for letting us know. Love to hear how Molly is doing.

  12. At the San Diego Owl Fans monthly EB lunch, we were just wondering about Carlos, Molly et al. Thank you for the heads up about the book. And thank you for still sending out posts.

    What ever happened with the Kestrels? Did they come back?

    • carlosroyal Says:

      The kestrels have been seen fooling around in the backyard, but so far no eggs. We are not sure the female likes the kestrel box, she keeps checking it out but has not settled in. If they were going to nest we think it should have happened by now.

  13. Jo-Ann Says:

    Thanks for the update and your book review!!!

  14. CAR Says:

    I am sitting here with Mary Pat right now. We’re in NYC having a MOD meet!!! She says thank you so much! We love her, and we are so glad you love her, too.

  15. Linda Stauffer Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna,

    Thanks for letting us know about the book. Sounds like a good book to read. Thanks for the update on Molly. I think of her all the time. I have my wonderful framed pictures of Molly and McGee to remember them by. In case you were interested, our Pennsylvania Game Commission just started a new website where you can view wildlife. The first animal they are featuring is the barn owl. They have a black and white camera set up in a Perry County barn owl nestbox. So now I can watch a local barn owl. She has eight eggs at last count.


    Always nice to hear from you.

    Linda Stauffer
    Harrisburg, PA

  16. Genia Potter Says:

    Well, young Fearless probably wasn’t good enough for Molly, anyway. Perhaps after she has a bit more time to grieve her beautiful mate, she will find happiness with another.

  17. Jerri Weed Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna,

    I Ordered the Book and ShamWoW’s as well…Thank You So Much.

    On Roy & Dale’s Site (The Hideout) Ellie the Oldest Owlet Took her 1st Flight and She Landed on OCG Window and on the Wall was Molly & McGee 1st Clutch Picture…Thought You Would LOVE to See It.

    Ellie Looking at the Molly and McGee Clutch 1 Portrait

    Enjoy it as Much As We Do..

    Again Please Keep us Up-dated..

    Much Love From Phoenix, AZ


  18. joly2u Says:

    Welcome home, Carlos & Donna, & thanks so very much for the Molly update & book info. I guess Molly would rather rock the cradle than rob the cradle! Waiting for another Mr. Right, and after all, McGee is a hard act to follow. Jerri, that photo is one of those rare & special ones! Thanks for tipping us off.

  19. Deb Peretti Says:

    Thanks for the book review and update, Carlos! Always love hearing updates about our special Molly:-) And You, too!!!

  20. mkeene23 Says:

    Hello Carlos and Donna.

    It’s always nice hearing from you. I’m glad to hear that Molly is doing well. The photo Jerri shared with us is so appreciated.

    Take care.

  21. mkeene23 Says:

    Hello Carlos and Donna.

    It’s always nice hearing from you. I’m glad to learn that Molly is doing well. The photo Jerry shared with us is so appreciated.

    Take care.

  22. Donna Says:

    Always so happy to see an update from you! Molly maybe needs a little alone time, I hope someday she finds a new mate and has another clutch. It’s still hard to imagine her without McGee. I can’t wait to read the book, I’m sure it’s going to be good! Thanks for the update, love hearing from all of you!

  23. Cinda B Says:

    So happy to read this post this morning, Carlos. Mary Pat is a wonderful writer, whom I happened to meet and befriend while watching Molly & McGee’s 1st Clutch. You may enjoy some of her other books too – always a touch emotional and mystical, but so real too. I saw someone asking above about audio and did want to let everyone know that most of her books are available for Kindle and Nook too. Every one is enjoyable and can’t put down, but “A Wisdom of Owls” is just special for MODs. Thanks for the update on Molly too. We know any prospective new mate as some tough shoes to fill. Just hope she doesn’t go the route of my local male eagle who lost his mate of seven years last April. He is now “courting” three different female eagles!

    • CAequuslvr Says:

      Thanks for letting us know that Mary Pat has other books. Are you referring to the Norfolk Botanical Bald Eagles?

  24. SactoSylvia Says:

    Thank you for the recommendation, Carlos. How could I possibly pass on a book that somehow weaved gagshag into the story?

    Thanks also for the owl box update. Fingers crossed for both Molly and the owl box!

  25. TByrd Says:

    I’ve read all of her books and she’s a very talented author. It was so fun reading Wisdom and relating to all the characters referenced in the book with the Molly and McGee chatters. I would recommend you read all her books as they keep you interested throughout the stories. It’s also fun knowing she’s an original MOD and will always be a MOD. We miss you and your family, including the owls. Safe travels in all your future endeavors.

  26. Thanks for the tip about the book! We will read it, sounds great and anything that reminds us of the first clutch will be wonderful. Does Molly come back to the box at all now?

  27. lilbirdz Says:

    Carlos, thank you so much for the book recommedation. It’s in my Amazon cart now. I always thought that “parliament” was the term for a gathering of owls. OCG’s picture was amazing. Look what you started! I was wondering what Molly decided about her beau. It’s her box, and she gets to choose. We love your updates on her, so keep them coming, please! I’m sure you and Donna check regularly, as you are the original MODS ! How is our favorite student Austin doing?

    • carlosroyal Says:

      Austin is doing great. He completes another course tomorrow. He said he got 100% on his final and is expecting another “A.” He made the deans list, he was beaming yesterday when he showed us his award certificate. He is totally dedicated to his school work.

      He comes to visit most weekends when we are home and it is so wonderful hear the excitement in his voice as he tells us about what he has learned or shows us his latest school project. Grandkids are the connection between history, us older folks and the future and the future looks bright.

  28. Nita Says:

    Carlos and Donna, thanks for keeping us all up to date with Molly. We care about her and hopefully she will find another “perfect mate”. Happy travels. Nita

  29. Jerilynn Says:

    I’ve read Mary Pat’s other 2 books in the series. I’m delighted there’s the 3rd! I just ordered it. Thank you, Carlos! The whole owl box experience has enriched my life and taught me so much. It came at a time when I needed to see the love that Molly and McGee showed each other with their first clutch. The whole experience has been wonderful and enlightening. Now, another delightful book by Mary Pat. Thank you for the updates.

  30. Michelle Says:

    So glad to hear from you Carlos, Donna & Austin! Welcome home I take it? I love having an email from “Molly’s Box” and I hope to have many more. Thank you so much for the book recommendation – it is on my list of good, heartwarming reads. Glad to hear Molly is okay – she needs to take her time in finding a mate. It will be hard to find one that compares to the love of her life. Blessings to you all and happy trails on your next adventure

  31. Dear Carlos,

    I was at a MOD meet in Manhattan when I got the news about your very kind review of “A Wisdom of Owls.” It blew me away! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    We were saying all weekend how wonderful it is that the owls we met through your generosity and time via the owl cam have led many of us to forge new friendships that will likely last the rest of our lives! The gathering was to welcome MOD Darlene from Oregon to New York for the first time. We had a wonderful time.

    What a gift you, Molly & McGee and all the owlets have given us. I was so moved by the experience of witnessing the first clutch that I had to weave it into a story. It means so very much to hear that you enjoyed my novel so much.

    Again, many thanks!

    Mary Pat

    • carlosroyal Says:

      I did enjoy it and I assume you had as much fun writing it as I did reading it. Here is to it becoming a best sellowler. Almost daily I get a reports of owl watchers getting together after having met in The Owl Box chat room. Just like in your novel the owlers are really a loving giving group of people.

      All the best and much success

      Carlos Royal

  32. Bette Says:

    this is all so wonderful – congrats Mary Pat

  33. Judy Sackson Says:

    It was so great to get news of the Royals and of Molly! I can hardly wait to read Mary Pat’s book. It looks like a real keeper!
    I’m sure it will take Molly a little while to get adjusted to finding a new mate. When the right guy comes along, she’ll know!
    Thanks so much for the updates!

  34. Sherry Kelly Says:

    I have been wondering about Molly and was glad to see your post. Do you still actually see Molly? I have just ordered The Wisdom of Owls and can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the warning about the need for Kleenex. The experience with Molly & McGee was one of a kind – and I am thankful that I was a part of it!
    (Original MOD and Author of A Cat Named Zooby – Google it!)

  35. Wow! The book just became an Amazon Kindle bestseller! Thank you Carlos, thank you readers!!

    • CAequuslvr Says:

      Once again we see how the “magic” of Molly, McGee & MODs can be a major influence. Kudos on the success of your book. I too cannot wait to read it.

  36. sandy/Racoona Says:

    once again, thank you for the update, and also the book sounds great! I will check this out for sure.

  37. Mary Pat’s book is such a wonderful read , Also, now I not only talk using Owl Box Lexions but with Irish ones as well…! thats how powerful this book is! Thank You so much for your backyard updates I do look forward to them….Take care Royal Family I miss seeing both of your smiling faces.Feathery~Cheryl

  38. SARose69 Says:

    Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear that the box is empty tho. The book sounds good. I will put it on my list to get.

  39. Marny Says:

    Sort of like a crash of rhinos! Or a murder of crows.

    Parliament of owls is what I know … but our Molly and McGee were definitely wise. ;-)

  40. twoclubs jane Says:

    Thank you, Carlos, for bringing us the information for Mary Pat’s book. I certainly shall order it. And Mary so happy for you and wish you all the best. Meanwhile, like so many others, I miss our Molly and hope she finds another mate for this season. My best to all the Royals. You are missed!

    God Bless and Multiple (((Hugs)))

  41. Donna Smith Says:

    Dear Carlos, Thanks so much for the info on Mary Pat’s new book. I just ordered it. Can hardly wait! Sorry to hear that Molly’s new love life didn’t work out but one of these days it will. I’m wondering if she is still using the box?
    All the best to you, Donna and Austin

  42. PegRod Says:

    Such great news and so good to hear from you Carlos. If you tell people about the things you love, you can spread the joy and change the world – that is one very important lesson we learned from The Owl Box!

    To add to the photo by OCG that KSBORN posted above, the classic of Ellie looking in the window at the portrait of Molly & McGee’s owlets, here is a link to more of OCG’s recent photos which show more adventures of the Chula Vista Owlets who walked tightropes, swung on trapezes, shot out of cannons onto the roof and generally entertained watchers with abandon and confidence!

  43. loveyourdna Says:


    Thank you for such a vivid description of MPH’s book. I knew she was special! It’s a must read for me now too.

    Molly is NOT a Cougar, she’s an Owl… ; )

    Miss you!
    julie aka LoveYourDNA

  44. PegRod Says:

    Chula Vista Owl Box

    To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the day Roy the male barn owl moved into the open owl box in Chula Vista, California, USA, join live chat tonight for some creative fun! His move in was followed by a courting with Dale, the female barn owl, and resulted in a successful first clutch, and currently, their second clutch of healthy owlets named Ellie, Clark and Dee. These owlets are at various stages of development, just days apart, and now enjoying test flights and the fun and adventures of stepping outside the box and learning to fly – next challenge coming up shortly will be learning to hunt!

    Chat moderator dkowen provides an update in live chat: “Just the Factz Fling & Fly Report© Total 5: 5 rabbits were the night’s edible delights for the Heroes, giving them vitality to explore beyond the box. Clark on long flyabout. Parlor Party tonight!” She adds, “Clark is out in a tree somewhere.” For Molly Watchers who miss the Royal patio parties, you can join live chat tonight at 7 pm Molly Time for some imaginative party fun! In the meantime, Dee is now finishing up “wemains of wabbit” for breakfast!

    Weather today, in the area, will be just gorgeous for all things bright and beautiful and all creatures great and small! No snow in Southern California, for those who prefer some milder weather – tomorrow, a little rain must fall to keep the spring green growing!

  45. CAequuslvr Says:

    PegRod–I (and I am sure, others) have become dependent on your updates and insights and info. Always a treat. Thanks

    • PegRod Says:

      CAequuslvr – It is the Owl Box “Community of Us” that keeps me posting, and a chance for Carlos Royal and others to see what he wrote for the past two years, a little bit at a time! Tomorrow is another Memory Lane day!

  46. PegRod Says:

    Something that new guests and veteran Owl Box watchers may not be aware of, is that the Ustream site for The Owl Box of San Marcos, CA, remains up! Right now, the mini-slide show of the First Clutch owlets is up when you click on this link, as well as an index of recent shows. Scroll to the bottom of that list to “View All”. Scroll down the whole page to find some history and related links. I still keep this page in my “Favorites”!

    • PegRod Says:

      PS – You know how people still say “over 21 million views” for The Owl Box on Ustream, well the number is on the Ustream page just under the slide show, and this statistic is even higher!

      23,216,086 Live Views

      Molly’s Box Blog still keeps its Flag Counter, which lets us know that at a minimum, 107 countries are represented in those views. And new people keep checking in all the time!


  47. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    April 26, 2011 – Camera Will Be On Tonight

    Wait – this is one year ago today! Don’t let the year blur from a 2011 to a 2012!

    One of the iconic photographs taken by Carlos Royal of the “Series of Four” Third Clutch of Molly and McGee is posted here. What a gorgeous photo of four healthy owlets!

    Carlos shares his excitement in words about arriving home from a Royal Retirement Adventure to find the four healthy owlets thriving. Carlos graciously went to work and set up the wiring, etc., so he could turn on the cameras that night. This was the beginning of a new chapter of fun and learning, as fans got a chance to watch the fledging process with outside cameras.

    As always, there are lots of interesting comments to read from “The Community of Us”, such kind-hearted, creative and sharing MODs from around the world! This is the beginning of a new set of recordings on Ustream as well, which we can enjoy for years to come.

    And yes, well, “Gee this is fun, and we are still a part of it!” Forever MOD and proud to be part of this Owl Box global community.

  48. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    Here is a page that has Ustream recordings from April 27th as well as April 28, 2011 (page 117 of hundreds more!). When you watch the recordings, don’t forget to sign in and rate them – up to 5 stars. I say that they are all 5-star recordings since they are priceless moments, never to be repeated exactly the same way. On page 116 you will find more of April 27th. Just change the last number on this address to see other pages!

    A Memory within a memory is found here – Molly and McGee’s Third Clutch was not broadcast like the first two clutches, but were treasured just the same. This link will take you back to the beginnings of this clutch of owlets named as a group, the “Third Clutch” or some called them the “Series of Four” rather than having individual names. MODs will say, “We named them!” and you will hear about nicknames given with love to reflect the owlets’ individual characters. Carlos really pulled off a surprising show that was full of treats – suspense, excitement and progress reports!

    March 7, 2011 – Molly Special Third Clutch

    Thank you Carlos Royal for always stepping up to the plate and hitting home runs, but also coming back to support your fans even when the season is over for the year.

  49. PegRod Says:

    Ustream Owl Box Update
    Chula Vista, CA

    While Clark (owlet number 2 in the middle) has apparently decided not to return to the owl box after his sudden departure a few days ago, Ellie the elder and Dee the younger, remain in the box during the nights and days. I don’t think Dee has left the porch yet, but I’m not sure – there are great YouTube videos of all of them. Ellie is having fun flying and exploring but always comes back. This morning moderator and screenshot taker, natowllover shared a link to their Flicker photos:

    Love is Mel & Sid at Oceanside

    I personally enjoy the “slideshow view” of screenshots, but that view does not have the captions.

  50. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    April 28, 2011 – Internet Drop Out

    It wasn’t a visit from Ringo (MOD’s term for the spinning circle when the live video is losing the connection on your Ustream site), but a complete horkage (lost the internet connection completely from computers) that The Owl Box experienced this time last year.

    As far as the old saying “It takes a village ….”, well some of the many villagers, who worked hard to keep The Owl Box live broadcast going, worked as Cox Cable technicians! If you follow the trail from The Owl Box to your viewing it, although it starts with Donna Royal’s idea and Carlos Royal following through with Austin’s help, you will find a long trail of “villagers”, from the one who grew or harvested the wood to make the box, to the factory which manufactured the nails and steel ‘Poltz” and “Boltz”, to the one who put it all together, falconer Tom Stephens, Tom also installed the original camera – follow that camera from the manufacturers of all those parts, to the many steps to get that camera into a store. Even the smiling salesman who sold the car to Carlos….well you get the idea! Look around you today and appreciate all the thousands of unseen people it takes to make all the things that surround you and give you a home and “village” with all the amenities. Molly and McGee’s Owl Box, their “Home, Sweet Home” is simple compared to many human’s!

    Back to this time last year – Carlos provides another gorgeous inside photo of two of the owlets posing for Lenz – he captures distinct character in those faces. Read on to find a report that includes, “The good news is we had a great show from about 8 PM to 10 PM PST (the best time to view at night) all four owlets were out playing and testing their wings. Molly and McGee did a lot of tweeting and circling trying to get the kids to join them in the hunt.”

    Right now, in 2012, there are owlets fledging in other Ustream boxes you can watch, but also more little ones to watch growing at all stages – a few names you may recognize are Nicasio, Lucy’s, and the Owlceanside cams, among many!

    “…And I think to myself, what a wonderful world – Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world” – lyrics by Bob Thiele immortalized in song by Louis Armstrong.

  51. Jeanne Says:

    I saw the recommendation for the book — went to my Kindle for a preview. I was hooked after the sample and read the book with laughter and a few tears. Living in Rochester, NY I have been to Keuka Lake and the wineries many times. So the setting and the barn owl chat room were so familiar. Loved the book!!! Thanks for the suggestion.

  52. Darlene from Oregon Says:

    Hi Carlos,
    What a wonderful thing to get an email from you. I’ve missed hearing and seeing you. Hope you are Donna are doing well.

    I too have read Mary Pat’s books. Every one of them. She is a gifted author who really knows how to put you in the situation as she writes her books. I have also very recently met at a MOD meet in Manhattan. I enjoy her books so much. I’m going to read them a second time. I’ve got them both as a physical book and also on my Kindle. I recently finished reading A Wisdom of Owls. This is a must read!! I enjoyed it so much I was kind of sad when it ended. Only because it’s such a good book. She really knows how to write.

    Like I said before, a must read! I couldn’t recommend any books more highly then Mary Pat Hyland’s books.

    Darlene Salisbury

  53. Darlene from Oregon Says:

    Oh, one more thing.. Carlos, the far reaching affects of Molly and McGee continue.

    Thank you once again for what you and Donna did in creating this world wide community of MODS. I’ve got some life long friends that I would never have met had it not been for you, Donna, Molly & McGee and of course Austin.

    I hope you continue to be blessed by what you have done.

    With warmest regards,
    Darlene Salisbury
    NW Oregon

  54. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    April 29, 2011 – Catch Them Before They Fly Away

    Ahhh…this time last year Carlos caught a moment in time of McGee, posed on the kestrel box with “a treat at his feet” – he was probably calling the owlets – “See this rodent I caught – you can do it, too! Come out and I will show you how to hunt!”. This photo is the first thing you will see when you click on the link – well, the heading first! You can enlarge some photos by clicking on them; others will take you to Cafe Press. There are a few photos of the owlets, almost adults at this point! Ustream was up and running again for fans to watch at night.

    Is it my imagination, or are the feathers on the facial disks of the Third Clutch a little more tan than white? It could be the color adjustments on my computer, some shadows, or perhaps the barn owls in the Southern California area carry a gene for this coloring!

    Back to the present in 2012 owlet Dee, of the Chula Vista California Owl Box, definitely has a darker coloring and, as far as I know, she will be the last to leave that porch – I just checked and last night she took her first flight! EmmieJan has provided a comparison by week of this clutches’ progress.

  55. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    April 30, 2012 – Three Owlets Keep Coming Back

    The Terrific Ten – that’s what I will call the photos you are treated to on this post from last year by Carlos. Each photograph has its own unique beauty and tells a story. A teacher could give one of these photos to their class and ask them to write about what they see. If the students also watched a barn owl clutch being raised on Ustream as part of their classroom education, they could add so much more to the story from what they learned about barn owl behavior throughout the life cycles! For new readers who wonder how an owlet gets back up to their box if they are not strong enough to fly back up – well, sometimes they use a 12-foot ladder!

    Carlos also tells a story about the trials and tribulations of getting the internet to work again so he can resume the live broadcast for hungry Owl Box fans! Some may say, “Been there, done that, what a pain!” But despite technical obstacles, Carlos never gives up, and Fry’s Electronics store has a record of all the trips he and Austin made to buy new equipment, cables, computers, etc. Thank you Carlos Royal for this gift of your time, talent, and tenaciousness, but most of all, your TLC (tender loving care)!

  56. joly2u Says:

    I appreciate so much that Carlos, PegRod and some others of you are keeping us posted and informed. How nice! Carlos, I’ve moved near the biggest Fry’s I’ve ever seen, and think of you every time I pass it!

  57. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    May 1, 2011 – Every Clutch is Different

    Happy May Day!

    Last year at this time, Carlos was taking hundreds of late night photographs of the Third Clutch owlets cavorting outside, although he picked the very best to share with Owl Box fans. From the Terrific Ten photos from April 30th, to the Noteworthy Nine photographs of May 1st, illustrated lessons are provided on how “Every Clutch is Different” even though some events and patterns are similar. By watching the Owl Boxes of wild and free common barn owls on Ustream, both inside and outside the boxes, observers have noted behaviors never before reported in the scientific literature. To paraphrase one ornithologist who watched the Owl Box, they said that they used to sit in “blinds” all day being bitten by mosquitos and other insects, in uncomfortable situations, to study birds – now we get to watch in the comfort of one’s homes, or in schools or public libraries or various computer access locations.

    While all these observations were going on, Austin (the grandson of Carlos) was having some daydreams. Carlos reports, “Austin mentioned last night that he would like to do another video but this time have it more about the owlets after they come out of the box. ” Guess what? That dream became real and you can buy that wonderful DVD today – he finished it quickly, having found his passion for filmmaking. But just because he finished it quickly, does not mean Austin did not spend innumerable moments filming, editing, in production and taking all the steps to complete the final product you will find on the virtual store shelf! And the bonus – Barbara Allen, also know as “Barleycorn”, wrote a new song that will always make me think of our beloved McGee, and it is found on the second DVD created by Austin Faure – Lyrics include – “I’m comin’ around, not makin’ a sound ….”

    Wtih Mother’s Day less than two weeks away, that is a great present to give your own Mama Molly – oh, the DVD or the iTunes music, or something else from last year’s Mother’s Day offerings created especially for MODs!

    “Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly”—Langston Hughes

  58. Fun with Carlos !!!!
    Carlos with owl mask 10-17

  59. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    May 2, 2011 – Royal Wedding

    This time last year the world was abuzz with details about the Royal Wedding of Prince William and his fiance Kate Middleton, which took place on April 29, 2011. Now, one year later they are referred to as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. One topic that fascinated the world, were the fascinators, a kind of headpiece in millinery to adorn the female human species. John “VacaDude” Atkinson drew a delightfully clever cartoon and also included a discussion and demonstrations of these attention-getters in his VacaChat show last year. This year’s April 29, 2012 show includes Zorro wearing his fascinator with a new bird attached. Fans also roared with laughter this past Sunday, as Zorro the Mouse and the puppet supernumeraries read Sunday’s Story – Kyle Plants a Garden. See here for some fun!

    Kyle is the carrot puppet animated by puppeteer VacaDude. This unlikely character came alive and was made famous in Molly’s World when Carlos showed the recording of Kyle on The Owl Box channel.

    Carlos is also the one who originally named “Zorro”, the mouse who escaped from being dinner one night during Molly and McGee’s First Clutch. Zorro, the puppet, was created by VacaDude and this very handsome and clever character lives on to tell the inventive Owl Box tales created by MODs. Zorro is also working on his own website, and while in the beginning stages, it does have a link “Zorro’s Gallery” to a page full of photographs of his ever-expanding wardrobe – costumes made and created by MOD Sally in Australia and John Atkinson in Vacaville, CA!

    Last year, Carlos shared the fact that in 2011 the Carlos and Donna Royal couple would celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary, and what an anniversary that was – a renewal of vows at a chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, where they originally got married.

    Awwwwww Royal Weddings – we can’t get enough of them!

  60. PegRod Says:

    Ustream Owl Box
    Chula Vista, CA

    Owlet Dee stepped outside during the day on April 29th and a photo was taken. Gorgeous!

  61. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    May 3, 2011 – Two Out, Two to Go

    Two is the number for the day, this time last year, with the heading “Two Out, Two to Go”, which means two in the box for the day, and a surprise photo from a MOD named “twoclubs”. We are treated to six seredipitous silent pose photos by Carlos, one mid-air, and one fun one by “twoclubs” of her imaginative and creative tribute to the Owl Box in her home. Carlos reflects a bit, concluding with “Just when you think you have it figured out, they throw you a curve.”, and also provides a link to some “Mother’s Day” offerings on Cafe Press!

    Oh, the Merry Month of May!

    • PegRod Says:

      Two to Go in the Chula Vista Owl Box, too! Ellie and Dee are back in the box today. This photo from MODs CouleeDam and LoneStar taken last night is a great “still life” and reminds me of some paintings of table tops spread with the hunted/caught wild game being prepared for dinner, found throughout the centuries! Hmmm…rack of wabbit legs….
      5-2-12 850pm Ellie & Dee both napping

      Update fromo LacyRoze: “How old are our heroe’s today? Ellie is 74 days, Clark is 72 days and Dee is 68 days old.”

      Along the way we have learned that at about 80 days, a barn owl is considered an adult – there are not many days left in this stage before the final fledging from Ustream observers.

  62. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    May 4, 2011 – In Flight

    Sensational Seven – that describes the photographs that Carlos posted on this day last year of the Third Clutch owlets The moments captured in flight help one appreciate just how far the science and art of photography has advanced in the past 50 years, so that people who can afford to buy a camera, lenses, and maybe a few classes at a reasonable rate, can be great amateur photographers. Carlos seems to have been born with, or at least developed along the way, an amazing sense of timing and his hearing is acute – as he reminded us when he was live on Ustream, it was pitch dark when he took most of his night-time photos – he listened with the intensity of a wild barn owl (perhaps triangulating!) and clicked on his camera remote control, almost always capturing some magnificent image never before seen by millions! By the way, you can read more about barn owl hearing and physiology on The Owl Pages site from Australia. There is a graph to click on for barn owls, on this page.

    Carlos also provides helpful advice regarding the inside camera and its maintenance – yes if you have an Owl Box with a camera it does need to be maintained! He explains, “Also, the more gag shag that is in the box especially as it starts to dry the faster the cameras are covered with a white power I call owl dust. I will definitely need to clean the cameras too, which reminds me, if you are building or buying an owl box with a camera, the camera needs to be accessible for cleaning from outside the box.”

    If you want to know what “gag shag” means, if you are new to all this, download the “Owl Box Lexicon” found on Cafe Press as one of the dozen free pdf’s and have some fun! Some MODs may remember all the webs that Glowz the spider wove across the inside camera, and Glimmerz the outside garden orb spider wove across the outside camera – Carlos cleaned those off many times so we could have clear viewing!

  63. Thank you for sharing the good times. I saw pics of McGee today and just cant stop crying. Today just a sad day for me.

    • PegRod Says:

      Jodi thank you for sharing your feelings! I was listening to Sting discussing the music of Elizabethan composer John Dowland, and reflecting on how “inspired melancholy” expressed through words, art, music and literature can actually help humans feel better.

      Hugs and hearts.

      • CAequuslvr Says:

        Awww, Jodi– You are not alone. When I look at my framed photo of McGee I too become sad. Then I remember all of the joy he brought to us and the very magical time it was.

  64. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch

    May 5, 2011 – The Third Clutch Has Fledged

    What news! That was what Carlos believed on May 5th last year. The future, which is now the past, would prove that the owlets may have left the box, seemingly gone forever, but they would be back. So, more photographs and fun is in the future (in the past), which can also help some understand that there will be good times ahead in this unseen future, even when you are in a slump or feeling dismal. An old saying, drawn from nature, is “It is always darkest before the dawn”!

    By the way, Happy Cinco de Mayo! A holiday celebrated in Molly and McGee’s surrounding part of the world.

  65. Karen O Says:

    Not a day goes by that I do not think of Molly and Magee. These magnificent owls conjure up such beautiful memories amid the tears. I miss the laughter, the mods, the chat, and all the lessons taught through the efforts of Carlos, Donna, Austin and our exquisite owl family. I so appreciate any update on the whereabouts and activities of Molly. I look every morning to see if there is a comment.

    Thank you, Royal family.


  66. Darlene Salisbury Says:

    I see the last post was over a year ago. As I read through this it brought back such wonderful memories. I’m the one that Mary Pat Hyland mentioned in the New York MOD meet. It was so incredible that people that I had never met (Except CAR) would do something like that for me. And it all started with Molly & McGee. Mary Pat Hylands Books are so good!!! A Wisdom of Owls is such a great book. I’ve read it once and intend on reading it again.Thank you Carlos for creating such a great thing that just keeps on giving. Mary Pat has written another book. It’s called “The House With The Wrap Around Porch”..It’s a wonderful book. I loved it very much.

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