Two Great Horned Owls were released back to the wild this past Father’s Day. Martin invited everyone out to C-Overlook and asked all Fathers to enter a draw to be the ones to release the Owls.
Next Sunday is Father’s Day and if there is one thing I’ve learned in my 62 years of life, being a father has very little to do with biology. The truth be known I have never met my father. He was a man who abandoned my mother, my brother, my sister and I when I was 2 years old.
It is my understanding that he ran off with his mistress and I have never seen his face or heard his voice. You may be asking yourself why, as father’s day approaches that I would be reflecting back on something so sad. The truth is, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because in my life I have had at least four fathers. Four amazing men who are responsible for making me the person that I am today.
The greatest man I’ve ever met was my grandfather, a kind gentle soul who drove a laundry truck. My grandfather stepped up in my early years to fill the role as father. He gave me my morals, my integrity and my love for all living things. My grandfather gave me one piece of advice that I have lived by my entire life. “Get up every morning and do good.”
My second father was my stepfather. This man stepped up and took on the responsibility, some might even say a burden, marrying a single mother with three children. He was always kind, but most of all he loved my mother to the day he died.
My third father, was my Scout Master Mr. Clark. As a retired Marine survival instructor, he took on his role as Scout Master with a dedication that I’ve never seen before or after. Mr. Clark taught me most of the life skills that I use every day and for that I will always be grateful.
My fourth father was my mentor, Hubert Wells, a multi-generational Hungarian falconer who took me under his wing and taught me to fly birds. His patience, guidance and encouragement has set me on a path that has become my life’s work.
As you can see in my life, fatherhood has had nothing to do with biology. A father is a person with strength, integrity, honesty and a willingness to help a young boy grow into a man. As Father’s Day approaches I have been thinking about what I could do in my own way, not only to honor my fathers, but all fathers. Here is what I’ve come up with.
Fathers are wise, kind and gentle and in our culture the symbol of wisdom is the great horned owl. I currently have two great horned owls that have been orphaned and brought to my rescue center. The owls are now large and beautiful, flying in their chambers and feeding themselves. It is now time to release them to the wild.
I would like to dedicate the release of these two beautiful great horned owls to all fathers everywhere, so this is what we’re going to do. At 8:00 in the evening on father’s day, anyone that would like to participate in the release of these great horned owls, please show up at the C Overlook above Cedar City. We will have a free drawing for all the fathers in attendance. We will chose two names and each of the lucky fathers will have the opportunity to release one of our great horned owls.
This will be an opportunity to hold a big beautiful owl in your hands and release it to the sky. Please come and join us. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Father’s Day Great Horned Owl Release.
Martin Tyner, Founder & CEO
Southwest Wildlife Foundation