Today was a very big day, especially for Sandy and a little bit for Gene. A friend that is a member of a Homing Pigeon Club from eastern Wisconsin brought 200 homing pigeons to the farm early this morning. We had offered the farm location as a suitable release point before they fly home to eastern Wisconsin. Another of Gene's brainy ideas was that we'd provide an "eggs in a bag" breakfast for all that came to witness the event. (It was easy for me to say and as Sandy says, "She had to do all of the work".)
So, yesterday and even earlier in the week, we spent much time preparing for the big event. There were muffins to bake, the lawn to mow, the house (mh) to clean, table to set (my hayrack) and a kettle to setup and check out. All went well and we were ready this morning for the big event. Gene was up at 5:30 and fired up the boiler at 6 AM. He also stoked the tree stump fire so that if any one was cold, we could have a blazing bonfire (not needed).
The pigeons arrived at 6:30 AM and were very quiet as Bob opened the doors to the trailer to give them some sunlight and fresh air. By 7:30, we had 24 people in the yard in anticipation to the big event. We gathered on the north side of the trailer as Bob opened the cages inside of the trailer. There was a rapid beating of wings as the birds hurried to the edge of the cage and took flight. They climbed for elevation, circled to the southwest, circled again and the last we saw of them was then they headed to the northeast behind the trees. (No one was ambitious enough to run out and see exactly where they went.) Then all was quiet.
We then walked back to the lawn and everyone made their own "eggs in a bag" omelet. All went well until we attempted to roll them out onto the plates. We had purchased Ziploc Freezer Bags with the optional vacuum opening. Big mistake. The vacuum bags have a very textured interior surface and the eggs don't just roll out. So instead of having nice rolled omelets, some of them looked more like scrambled eggs. (But one has to learn. So if anyone wants to try it, get the regular ZIP lock bags.)
At 8:30, we did a second release of another 100 birds. All went well. Since they were from the east side of the trailer, they flew out, circled east and climbed for elevation and again headed for the northeast, disappearing behind more trees. Bob said that the birds have from 240 to 270 miles to fly to reach their individual lofts. On a still day, they can travel at 45 mph. Any way you cut it, they have a big day ahead of them.
We then returned to the lawn and finished breakfast. It was a beautiful day with hardly a breeze and lots of bright sunshine. We had plenty of space on the lawn so we could spread out and visit very comfortably. Slowly some of our guests departed for parts unknown. Finally all were gone and it was clean up time. However, Sandy and some of the other ladies had already pretty well stripped everything so there was little for me to do.
As usually, Sandy is very tired (more from the mental strain of worrying that everything would go right) and Gene is ready for the next party, after his long afternoon nap of course.