Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In the Arms of an Angel

I am ever so appreciative to my friend Shelley Johnson who allowed me the privilege of visiting the Pensacola Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center this morning for a media tour of the facility and operations.

This juvenile Northern Gannet in the process of being cleaned was obviously frightened, but the rehabilitation workers worked tirelessly at their task.

Conversation was held to a minimum and in hushed tones to prevent further stress, but as I watched the workers tending the frightened seabird, thinking what it must be going through, sad lyrics and the haunting tune of a song by Sarah McLachlan kept running through my mind...

"...I need some distraction, oh beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins

They may be empty and weightless,
and maybe I'll find some peace tonight..."

"It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe in this sweet madness,
oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees..."

"...In the arms of an angel, fly away from here
From this cold dark hotel room and the endlessness that you fear,
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here..."

A couple of Brown pelicans who have made it through the process begin to regain their strength and preen their feathers.

Once they are evaluated to be strong enough, they will be banded/tagged and transported to a safe release area.

We thank the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center's professionals and paraprofessionals -- angels of mercy -- who take such care with the oiled wildlife and work hard to release these beautiful creatures back into a safer environment.


The Quintessential Magpie said...

My hat is off to his important rescue effort. God bless every last one of them for ministering to our wildlife.

I have seen some of this on the news, but I'm glad to get a first hand report from a Floridian in the know. THANKS!

Hugs from the other coast (St. Augustine)...



The Quintessential Magpie said...

"this" important rescue effort...sorry for the typo

Shellbelle said...

HI D.J., I wanted to let you know I posted a link to your blog on my post a few hours ago, I'd like my readers to know about you and what you and so many others are doing to help in the clean-up effort. (I see my friend Sheila has already been here!)

I know the photos are tough to see, but you put a personal take on it that so many need to see and hear. We hear it and see it on the news, but it takes a heart like yours to bring us the day-to-day stories that make it even more real and you give us hope that with the combined effort of so many amazing people our precious Gulf will have a future.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us, I know you're working long hours and that the work is tough, but we are grateful.

Barrier Island Girl said...

That is so kind of you, Shellbelle. I think my friend Shelley arranged for me to attend this event in her stead not only to get photos for the paper, but because I've been so depressed since Sunday. It made me feel better to see the hard work and great job the Wildlife Rehab workers are doing with these sea birds.

I'm heading out to work as a Wildlife Observer tonight, so I better get downstairs and grab a bite of dinner. It is H.O.T. out there this evening!

Drawn to The Sea said...

Those who work on behalf of our beautiful wildlife & shores have my deepest admiration.

It's so sad about your lovely beaches, I haven't been there in many moons. We're starting to see the oil here too.

Peace to you,

Barrier Island Girl said...

Julia, I don't know where your beaches are, but I am so sorry to hear you are seeing oil in your area. We have done well here for the past few days, but I've discovered we will probably be hit by another wave later in the week. My friends are my strength and islanders are strong. We will get through this. We just have to remind ourselves - as many now say -- this is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

Thank you for your comment and support.

Kathi said...

God Bless them. Thanks for posting.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful uplifting post. Thanks, DJ.

BaysideLife said...

They do such important work. It's nice to see survivors. Thanks.

Unknown said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile,and I just wanted to let you know how much I admire what you are doing.