July 4th What a Wonderful Day

July 4, 2012

Calvin Calling His Children
Click image for larger view

Calvin following me around the block
Photo taken with my iPhone

Signal & Semaphore (I got you back)
Click image for larger view

A Rose For Donna “Secret” rose
Click image for larger view

July 4th What a Wonderful Day

I woke up around five and immediately got out of bed. Sometimes I like to linger, take a deep breath, relax, but not today. I was up and headed right for the kitchen for a hot cup of mate which I enhanced with sweet cream and honey. I carried my steaming cup to my favorite chair where I normally watch the morning news but not this morning. I just put my feet up on my cushioned foot rest leaned back and carefully took a sip and let the warm sweet liquid delight my senses as my thoughts magically created a feeling of what a wonderful country we live in. For at least fifteen minutes I simply enjoyed my cup of mate, my thoughts and the sound of Calvin calling his children.

I decided to take a walk as free men will do. I slipped out the back door, Donna was still sleeping and Calvin was on top of our weathervane, which is on top of our RV garage. Our rooster weathervane is the highest object in the neighborhood. A great place for Calvin to squawk, actually more like tweet to wake and call his children which he was doing. You know teenagers, sometimes you have to call them more than once as they just hate to get up in the morning, especially on holidays.

I could tell he saw me as I exited the back door and headed out the side gate to the street out front where I would begin my 3 mile walk around the block. When I started walking I noticed that Calvin had joined me. He was now in the tree across the street As I walked down the street he would fly from one tree top to the next following me, but sometimes going ahead of me as I walked around the block. He would also fly from one side of the street to the other in front of me just to make sure I knew where he was. At one point I walked passed him in a tall tree and he did not follow so I stopped, turned and waved him on and he did. It was an amazing experience. When the walk was over he returned to his spot on top of the weathervane and his children were on top of the kestrel box waiting for him. I had a hard time of not waking Donna to tell her what had just happened.

And here is a little funny side note. One of the neighbors stopped me to ask if the owls were gone. I told him yes. He said, “I knew it, my yard is overrun with rabbits.”

The day is what you make it, make it wonderful.

Carlos, Donna and Austin

Other Goodies (4th of July is today)

Eric’s New Book: Fearless Click Here Save 41%

Fearless  is on New York Times Best Seller List of books to read.

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

Molly Watchers E-Cookbook http://mollytheowlbooks.com/store/books-bookmarks/molly-watchers-e-cookbook.html

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

70 Responses to “July 4th What a Wonderful Day”

  1. Nora (couleedam) Says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventures, Carlos. I’m wishing you, Donna & Austin a great Independence Day :-)

  2. Carole Martin Says:

    Yes, Carlos, we have so much to be thankful for. Our country is free. Our veterans and soldiers should never be forgotten for the sacrifices they have made and are still making. We can enjoy so many things including the enjoyment of nature all around us. We are so fortunate. Happy July 4th to you, Donna, and Austin. <3
    Carole in Charlotte

  3. Lemay Renee Says:

    Yes, the day is wonderful.

  4. VeeTX Says:

    Thank you once again Carlos for sharing a special moment in your life. Your stories become real in your messages – I actually walked with you and Calvin. The photos are excellent, as usual. Signal and Semaphore are in that cute and silly-looking fluff stage :-) Had to laugh at your neighbor’s observatopm about bunnies taking over his yard because the owls have gone. Have a wonderful Idependence Day and we are blessed to be a free people (so far).

    Love to you, Donna and our handsome and brilliant young man, Austin.

  5. Lisa Burns Says:

    What an amazing gift you received this am Carlos!! So cool! Thank you for sharing it with us. Everyone, make sure you enlarge the photo of the baby Kestrels. I have chills……..they are so beautiful!!! What a shot. Oh thank you so much Carlos and Donna. Love the Rose too. Happy Fourth of July! Much love from NE FL to San Marco, CA!!

  6. SixToes Says:

    Thank you Carlos for sharing you very special time with us. I wish all my owly friends a very Happy 4th of July. Take care and miss you all.

  7. Vicki Says:

    Happy Fourth to all the Royals!
    The “K” family are just tooo cute!
    I bet your neighbor wouldn’t mind all the owl noises again to be rid of the rabbits.Goes to show how important each of God’s creatures are.
    Love how the vane shows just how visited it is by all the “calling” cards left at the bottom.
    It’s hot, hot, hot here in the midwest. Keep cool!

    Vicki (my5kids)

    • carlosroyal Says:

      Those droppings look more like owl dropping than kestrel or small bird droppings but all the birds seem to like the rooster as a perch and look out.

  8. Cindy Says:

    We are blessed to live here.

    Thanks Carlos for the morning share.

    Heard this one?

    Yesterday is history…
    Tomorrow is the future…
    Today is the present….open your gift.


  9. Twoclubs Jane Says:

    Oh I love it. I absolutely adore this story of Calvin and his BFF Carlos! Awww. And Happy Fourth to you and Donna and Austin and the whole Royal Family. Thanks for these special updates on your world. (((God Bless)) twoclubs jane

  10. Donna Says:

    Carlos, love to read your stories, so cool having the bird take a walk with you! Of course the pictures are beautiful, you are very talented! Happy 4th of July to you all! I’ll be waiting for your next story, take care and keep cool!

  11. Colleen Smith Says:

    Hello Donna, Carlos and Austin !

    Happy 4th to you and yours, and thank you for all your wonderful updates on Molly’s Blog. I’m saddened that they’re gone, but I was part of all the wonderful hatchings and excitement with waiting for McGee to return with food … Wesley’s first flight and all the rest of those wonderful and endearing memories.

    Thank you for that … it’s ingrained in my soul forever.

    Colleen Smith
    a.k.a. @dncrovlife

  12. Lee Says:

    Yes Carlos, It is a wonderful day and we are blessed to have the gifts you share with your love and joy. It is most appreciated.

  13. janie2 Says:

    I so enjoyed walking along with you and Calvin. His children are so gorgeous. I love their baby eyes. Just way too cute. Happy 4th to your family and all the friends from the owl box chat.


  14. YTQ Says:


  15. OC Says:

    What a wonderful story, thank you.

    Carlos is the Bird Whisperer :)

    Happy 4th to everyone !!!

    xoxo Cheryle

  16. Sherry Kelly Says:

    Carlos! Get Eric’s help and write a book!! You have a way with words and we would all buy it in a minute!!! PLEASE! (Oh, and let me preview it and write an endorsement for the back like Eric had me do for the MOLLY THE OWL book.)

    Sherry Kelly Author of Your New Baby’s Instruction Book, A Cat Named Zooby, and, The Big Life of a Little Man: Michael Dunn Remembered

  17. Sherrie Pearl Says:


    What a great way to take a walk. Thank you for sharing.

    God Bless America and thank all those who have served for keeping it free.

    Happy 4th to the Royal Family
    (((((Carlos, Donna & Austin))))

  18. SactoSylvia Says:

    What a wonderful story, Carlos! Apparently word that you’re a good guy has gotten out among your feathered neighbors – and I’m not at all surprised!

    Have a wonderful 4th of July!

  19. Jan Halstead Says:

    So thankful you keep in touch with us. Thanks for getting up early and taking us along on your walk. I enjoyed all the pictures also. Happy Birthday America!

  20. Carol Watt Says:

    Thank you Carlos for sharing that wonderful experiance. Please write a book as you a great story teller. I love your stories. Maybe next year there will be owls in the owl box. Would you know Molly if she came back?

    • Carlos Royal Says:

      I would like to think so, And I am sure I would be able to tell the difference between Molly and say a younger female owl with no brooding experience.

  21. Rosemary Dearing Says:

    Thank you Carlos, you just put a smile on my face, and made my day oh so sweet… I miss seeing and hearing from you on a daily basis as much as I miss Molly and McGee and the kids.
    What a wonderful thing you have given all of us…just being
    you and keeping in touch… And yes, I know that those birds
    feel just like we do…. YOU ROYAL’S ARE SPECIAL PEOPLE.
    God Bless America, and God Bless the Royal’s

  22. Nancy Burman Says:

    Love to hear from you Carlos. You are such a wonderful person. I enjoy every story you tell us. Happy 4th!!! Have a safe one.

  23. sharon mitchell Says:

    Awesome story,,,,and so nice that you have company as you stroll around the block!

  24. gmarch53 Says:

    What a wonderful Gift, Carlos. Thank-You for sharing your special moment with your Special Kestrel. Birds are truly Amazing! Tell Donna and Austin Hello and Happy July 4th 2012 :D (may I share one of your photos of the kestrels on my fb Timeline?)

  25. Fourthebirds Says:

    Happy 4th of July everyone…..Six and Two miss you two!

  26. Judy Sackson Says:

    Would have loved to have seen you and Calvin taking your morning stroll together! He must also know what a special bird person you are! Keep the stories coming, we all get into them with you!
    Happy Fourth to all the Royals and all the MODs!

  27. June Schafer Says:

    What a wonderful way to start the day……contemplation and a walk with a kestrel. How fun that must have been! Thanks to you and all our military, we all have the freedom to do these things! Happy 4th to you and Donna!!

  28. Kahn2 Says:

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful 4th of July holiday!

  29. Marie Says:

    Great story!! Calvin definitely bonded with you. Bet Donna loved the story of your morning adventure.

  30. Bonita Lyon Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful morning!! Got to wonder if Calvin doesn’t know you’re his landlord!!??!The photos are fabulous and Donna’s rose is magnificent!!! Birds and flowers are such an amazing gift to us!! Have a great day!! Bonnibell

  31. Jo-Ann Says:

    Calvin knows you are there for him and his family… You have such a way with birds of all kinds… Loved the walk about story.. Animals/birds sense that you are there and protecting them. Sure wish we had owl boxes here. Rats/mice ate through my air conditioning wire and I just spent almost $700.00 repairing the wire… Molly, McGee, where are you when I need you…

  32. OwlyKats Says:

    Carlos And Donna,
    Happy 4th Of July!!!!
    Isn’t it wonderful when we are granted that unique personal gift of a perfect moment with God’s creatures. It is something that truly touches ones soul. I bet Calvin had as much fun as you did Carlos.
    Here in Colorado Springs I have much to be thankful for on this 4th of July. For all of our service members who have sacrificed their lives for Our freedoms and for those who currently put themselves in harms way.
    I am also Grateful for all of our firefighters, police and first responders here in the Waldo Canyon Fire and elsewhere in our country. They too risk their lives all around our country to defend our communities from fire. It takes a special individual to look down these types of Firey Monsters and Hold that line and take a stand to stop the spread of this beast further into the city. And today these men and women are still fighting to put this fire out. We are blessed it is 80% contained and monsoon season has arrived. So I pray for gentle rains.
    I am also grateful for nature and the wildlife that is around us daily and I make sure to take that moment or more to enjoy the beauty it brings to my soul.

    Yes Carlos the day is What you make It!
    So I choose to live my life with a grateful and thankful heart!
    God Bless You,
    Kathleen Stevenson
    Colorado Springs, CO

  33. FloridaSkye Says:

    Thank you for sharing your morning with us, Carlos. I, too, am so lucky to have the life I have. God bless America!

  34. Barbara Says:

    Happy 4th of July to all my owlie friends! I have a small request…a teacher friend of mine is doing a unit on owls…i cannot remember where we had the free cutouts, masks, etc. can anyone help me? thanks so much! TARHEELMOM

  35. jamma louisiana Says:

    what a wonderful morning…hope your day was enjoyable…had fried fish for dinner and don’t think i want supper…thanks for keeping us in the loop…

  36. carlosroyal Says:

    What is Mate´ or Mate?

    It is a form of herbal tea drink that is especially popular in South American, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina. Like coffee it is suppose to wake you up and sharpen your mind but too much can hype you up but is not supposed to give you jitters like coffee. I only drink one cup and I cut it with heavy whipping cream and honey. In Argentina they use a metal straw and share it with others. Kind of a communal drank. The straw not the drink is associated with causing lip cancer due to repeated burns. In the US the morning drink of choice is coffee, in South America it is mate.

    There are several blends. The one we like is from Teavana called “My Morning Mate.´” Rise with the sun and kick-start the day with this unbelievably rich and robust caffeine mix of Mate,´ black tea, and red rooibos. A natural energy boost and a healthier alternative to coffee, this blend is filled to the brim with sweet chocolate and almond bits that are complemented by pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts and coriander. Finishing off this delightful treat are hints of warm hazelnut and cinnamon.

    Brew for 5 minutes, add a spoonful of honey and then add a little heavy whipping cream. It is like drinking a dessert of heaven to the senses.


    Now you know.

    Carlos Royal
    P.S. No, we don’t get anything for giving them a plug. We just like the stuff.

  37. carlosroyal Says:

    Look where people live that have viewed the blog today.

    Country Views
    United States 865
    Canada 20
    Japan 11
    United Kingdom 7
    Hungary 6
    Philippines 4
    Italy 2
    Netherlands 2
    Germany 2
    Hong Kong 1
    Switzerland 1

    • Ruth Says:

      Carlos…. We all keep checking on Molly’s Blog everyday. We all look forward to what your going to talk about next. We all enjoyed Molly and McGee and all the Royals alot.

  38. Twoclubs Jane Says:

    Wow! And all because some bird “followed you like a hawk”! Ok, somebody had to say it. Were you waiting? LOL. It was a lovely way for all of us to wake up too. Again, Happy Fourth and God Bless

  39. azdebra Says:

    Carlos, thank you for sharing your walk-about with Calvin :) Nice to read and see the pictures too.

    Be safe and enjoy the 4th.

    Rooibos Tea is a red tea that has a lot of good things going for it. This is the info from Teavana, I love their teas plus they have beautiful tea pots :)

    Rooibos teas are herbal infusions made from a South African red bush and sometimes called “red tea.” There are also green Rooibos teas that are just as delicious as the popular red teas. Rooibos teas are delicious iced or hot and come in a wide variety of flavors.
    Tea Benefits of Rooibos Tea:

    May support the immune system, promoting well-being
    Helps promote digestion
    May provide relief from an upset stomach
    Naturally caffeine-free, so great for kids


  40. Tricia Says:

    That was a fun story! I had a cat that followed us around the block when we went for a walk…probably not too unusual…but a wild bird!! Like!

    • Carlos Royal Says:

      I will admit, I was blown away by the experience because Calvin is a wild bird and I have never provided any food nor have I had any interaction except to photograph. There is one constant, I normally wear a red plaid shirt when photographing the birds in the morning and I had it on this morning.

  41. Marcia Morrison Says:

    Dear Carlos,

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful story about Calvin “taking a walk” with you this morning. I wonder if he has a proprietary feeling about you (as my cat does about me). Something along the lines of “that special human who shares my yard”, from his point of view.

    I send 4th of July greetings from Salem, Massachusetts. We have a fine outdoor concert and fireworks show here by the harbor. It started to rain about 1/2 way through the fireworks, but most people stayed anyhow until it was all over, even the grand finale. We were lucky; a couple friends had staked out a spot at the top of the Old Customs House steps, which turned out to be sheltered by a little portico.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying life.


    Marcia Morrison
    on the other coast

  42. aspengoldred2 Says:

    Thank you Carlos for allowing us into your life again be it only briefly. Carlos you have a way with words, makes us feel as we were right there with you. Love to you & Donna

  43. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    The Royal Gardens

    July 5, 2011 – Molly’s Blog Tops 3 Million Views

    The title of this blog entry says it all. And a year later, the comments just get better and better, more descriptive and sharing, and even more new people are commenting with confidence.

    The caption under the first photo reads, “Order your Second Clutch Book” as Molly mouths this great advice (I say “ditto”). In a photo, you don’t have sound, so subtitles are sometimes needed, along with imagination, and each photo is open to individual interpretation as to the seen and the unseen, the silence and silent film clues.

    This period of time, at the Owl Box in the Royal Gardens of San Marcos, CA, of watching Molly and McGee in a new stage of their lives, was an awakening and new awareness for many. In Carlos’ second photo, Molly and McGee have a sublime smile on their faces and are in magnificent poses standing relaxed and unguarded, and straight and tall. They are “The World’s Most Famous Owls…Molly and McGee”, but appear as if this has not inflated their egos, but their hearts, aware of all the people in the world who truly love them and have touched their lives.

    If we have a choice, choose love, for love does make the world a better place for all, starting with yourself. With millions loving Molly and McGee, the world is already a better place! Love is not inaction, but a conscious choice and an outward expression of hard work involving more than “just you” and one’s ego! The global and healthy definition of “love” is not “lust” or “desire” but a word that has changed meaning in today’s world from its original intent – “charity”, Charity does not mean giving or throwing money at a problem, but wisdom in giving freely of the goodness of oneself in community – be it in a couple, a family, a town, a nation or to the world, in whatever manner possible, in any given moment, and that means every day! Just a positive thought can change the world. This is something only you can do!


  44. CAequuslvr Says:

    Carlos–What a wonderful story. Calvin knows who you are, of course he would be your buddy for your walk. You gave him and his family a great home.
    Those two drinks sound very good. I will have to try them.
    Once again I have learned about something new.
    The pictures are really nice. Thanks for sharing.

  45. CAequuslvr Says:

    I have been checking online about Rooibos. There are all sorts of recipes and info.

  46. mandozee1888 Says:

    Great Pics Carlos, Loved your story you make it come to life for me. Stayed in most of the forth, with a heat index that hit 113 at times it was to hot to go out. mandozee1888

  47. Holly Sue Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna,
    What a wonderful “Calvin and the Walk” story… how nature can delight us in so many ways! We came home to three new posts on the Molly site with so many beautiful photographs, especially the rose and kestrel children. Thank you for posting them and for keeping in touch…it is always wonderful to hear from such a dear friend! We hope your 4th was as nice as ours, though not as hot (here in IL 103). We often need reminders how extraordinarily lucky we are to be Americans! Cheers to Austin for his continuing success!
    Love to you, Holly Sue

  48. Sherrie aka Sharoot Says:

    I think Calvin knows a great guy when he sees one! The pix of the babies is just precious. We are lucky indeed to be Americans! Have a great summer!
    Sherrie Coughlin aka Sharoot

  49. Healani AKA FoxyTuTu of San Diego, Ca Says:

    Awesome post Carlos!! Yes this is a wonderful country!! I so loved your morning stroll story. Simply awesome…..It was so nice to read after all the bad news we hear daily. Mahalo Carlos

  50. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    The Royal Gardens

    June 6, 2011 – Molly Is In The Box

    This post from last year begins with a fabulous photograph of our beloved Molly in The Owl Box peeking out the door, and probably observing Carlos in his red plaid shirt working around the yard – lol – wait, no he was taking the screenshot, so someone or something else must have caught her attention!

    On this day last year, Carlos was preparing mentally to autograph the thousands of copies of The Second Clutch coffee table book. MODs may remember Carlos remarking how important it was that he personally sign each book, and not just stamp it with his signature – Oh, …”the things we do for love!” really do mean a lot and strengthen integrity!

    Thank you Carlos and Eric Blehm for this fabulous one-of-a-kind beautiful treasure book of our living, breathing, and beloved “un”common barn owls. of course, Molly and McGee are included, but the Second Clutch owlets Ashley and Carrie are the stars, and Jody and Kelly, who did not live long in this world, have their spotlight. The Second Clutch book is dedicated to Carlos’ wonderful Mom and Dad as well as to the founders of Ustream – all of whom have contributed to making the world a better place!

    Thank you Ustream for never giving up, either!

  51. What a beautiful post! Thank you, Carlos. Kathleen in Missouri

  52. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    The Royal Gardens
    Summer 2011

    July 7, 2011 – Fourth Clutch Bonding Has Started

    The fireworks of the Fourth of July seemed to have started some fireworks in The Owl Box this time last year. Carlos begins this post from last year with some contemplation and analysis of patterns of behavior and shares his thoughts, “Bonding for the Fourth Clutch has started. Look for eggs to follow in about 10 days if the mating continues. What is so interesting about this Fourth Clutch is that it has been 38 days since the last owlet from the Third Clutch fledged. With the second and third clutches the bonding started almost immediately after fledging but not in this case. ” Read the original blog entry for more!

    The photograph of Molly shows her surrounded by feathers, since this had been a time of moulting for Molly and maybe McGee. Barn owl patterns of moulting feathers are slightly different than other owls, according to this analysis, which states, “With the exception of the Barn Owl, molting of wing feathers is from the inside out. Barn Owl wing feathers are replaced from the middle of the wing out (in both directions).”

    The award-winning true story of “Molly the Owl”, beautifully written by Eric Blehm and illustrated by Chris “rocketman” Adams, was now granted “gold seal” status from outside sources, and Carlos reported that “Gold Metal stickers from the Nautilus Book Awards are in for Molly The Owl Book”. If you never got a seal for your book. you might want to check with Eric Blehm at Molly the Owl books. There was a nominal charge when he had a supply of them, and a request to send a self-addressed pre-paid envelope. Now, all new purchases include the seal (I think – lol). While you are visiting the Molly the Owl books site, check out the bookmarks and greeting cards – simply marvelous! The bookmarks are great to buy for “Back to School” gifts for teachers and students, and Gee!, even for yourself!

    Be kind to yourself today – that makes the world a better place, too!

  53. Kim Gorman Says:

    Carlos, your posts never cease to bring smiles and gratitude… for your expressive ability, your empathy and your experiences, which you so gladly and happily share. Thanks again and say hello to your fine feathered friends who are now our friends!


  54. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    The Royal Gardens
    Summer 2011

    July 8, 2011 – Austin’s New Movie Pre-Order Now

    Last year, this fabulous film was not even finished! Hard to believe. Now you can order as many copies as you like, and, I believe, you can still get an autographed copy!

    Carlos begins last year’s post with, “We’re pleased to announce the release of Austin’s new movie! The World’s Most Famous Barn Owls.”

    The rest of the post is a letter from our now famous filmmaker, Austin Faure, which begins with – “After the original DVD “Molly’s Story” I have earned roughly enough to pay for half of my college education, not including room and board which my grandparents are helping me with. My new movie “The World’s Most Famous Barn Owls” was created in hope that I can cover the rest of my college expenses and work my way to getting a full Bachelors of Science degree. As of June 24th 2011, I am a full time student at Platt College, a media arts school in San Diego. Currently, I am commuting 80 miles a day but I will be moving to San Diego July 15th to an apartment within walking distance to the school.”

    Read the original post to find out the rest of what Austin shared! Time would reveal that Austin did move to his apartment and I imagine he still lives there! One of VacaDude’s many Google Earth trips showed the college he attends, so those present got an “above the earth” tour! It is found on a recording of VacaChat on Ustream, but you can look for it, too. Now, get this, and be amazed! For The Owl Box on Ustream there are thousands and thousands of recordings, still free to watch (over 8,000!), and worth every minute of your time. There are various ways to search for them, but here is one way to start. There are also thousands of recordings on YouTube and millions and millions of screenshots taken by thousands of MODs and fans.

    The Owl Box
    (provided free to fans, compliments of Carlos and Donna Royal)

    (not all recordings have been kept, due to limit for free library storage)

    I challenge anyone to be bored in this world today!

  55. DianaPB Says:

    Carlos I just absolutely love reading your updates

  56. Amie Says:

    Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

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