This is the post that I had planned to share today.
We loaded up the car with our precious cargo and headed out.
Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary was our destination.
After 8 weeks of caring for our little Wood duck, we named Lucky the time had come to move him to a facility that could prepare him for the next big adventure – life in the wild. Coming to the place in my heart of accepting that it would be best for Lucky to live in the wild with other wood ducks was easy and very hard and it hurt. Knowing in my head and having my heart accept it just made me sad.
From the beginning we agreed, that as soon as Lucky learned to fly, he would be able to be on his. The last two weeks he was with us, he entertained us with his flying lessons. Short low flights in the beginning and towards the end of his time with us ceiling height flights around the living room, through the front hall back into the kitchen and the back hall. He had grown quite skillful and learned how to duck the lights, the kitchen cabinets, and other objects in his path. It was time for him to be outdoors.
I called the wildlife sanctuary and made arrangements with them to bring Lucky to their facility.
We drove for what seemed a long time, out in the middle of nowhere, until finally, Mr. Cottage said he thought he heard the banjo’s playing the theme from Deliverance.
We laughed, but it really was the most beautiful off the beaten path, drive. We eventually came to the sign pointing to our destination. My heart began to beat fast and I wanted to back the car up and flee. As we got out of the car we were immediately greeted by a young man. We went inside, answered some polite questions and then I was given the paperwork to complete. It all happened in a blink of an eye. Lucky was whisked away to a room where he was weighed and measured and an identification mark was placed on his leg. I really didn’t have a chance to say goodbye, which in hindsight, I think was a good thing so that I didn’t get all emotional and start blathering. He was immediately taken away to the duck compound. I wanted to go along like a mother attending her child’s first day at preschool – just to make sure all the other kids played nice with my little Lucky. No outsiders allowed, they want the wild animals to have as little human contact as possible. I stood on the porch taking photos as the young man took away our little Lucky.
Dotted along the hillside, under the shade of trees, tucked inside charming gardens of native plants, are several structures that house the different types of wildlife.
This is the duck compound. I don’t remember how many other wood ducks they said they had at that time. One of the reasons I choose this place to take Lucky was that they had several ducks his age that were ready to be released. They decided to wait on the release for a week so that Lucky could get socialized with this group.
I was told Lucky was in good health and they felt we had done a very good job taking care of him. He would be taken to the river with the other ducks and released in a week. That time has since come and gone. I think of him every day and wonder where he is. Does he have a new family and is he healthy and happy? I have no regrets about taking care of him or taking him to Rockfish Sanctuary for his release back into the wild. It was the right thing to do.
Maybe someday we will see him again.
Well, that’s all for today. Thank you for being here.