Author: Annie Zed

Annie Zalezsak (aka Annie Zed) is a communications specialist, writer and artist based in the Okanagan Valley, BC.

Charlie Visits BC Wine Museum

The Okanagan Valley is known for its many vineyards and wineries. Macramé Owl Charlie was itching to get out this past weekend, so we took a brief tour of the BC Wine Museum and VQA Wine Shop at the Laurel Packing House.

Charlie doesn’t drink (he simply can’t – he’s a Macramé Owl for crying out loud!), but he is nonetheless interested in local history.

Photo: Annie Zalezsak

Macramé Owl Sanctuary Team – Manager and Director, Annie Zed, acted as the responsible adult companion on this excursion.

Charlie was particularly fond of the champagne bottle machine.

2015.11.22 Charlie at Wine Museum (2) Annie Zalezsak

My,what big kegs they had.

2015.11.22 Charlie at Wine Museum (8) Annie Zalezsak

There were plenty of information stations, but Charlie wasn’t bothered to read them. He preferred to just hang around and stare off into the distance.

2015.11.22 Charlie at Wine Museum (3) Annie Zalezsak

They had bottles upon bottles of all kinds of charmingly named labels, like: Dirty Laundry, Blasted Church OMG, and Lost Inhibitions: Tell Me How You Really Feel.

2015.11.22 Charlie at Wine Museum (6) Annie Zalezsak

Charlie wanted his photo taken from every angle. Typical of the Whimsical Macramé Owl variety, he can be quite cheeky and persistent about getting his own way.

2015.11.22 Charlie at Wine Museum (1) Annie Zalezsak

Afterwards, members of the team sampled beverages and delicious food at the BNA Brewing Company and Eatery just a block up from the museum.

2015.11.22 Charlie at BNA Kelowna (7) Annie Zalezsak

All in all, it was an enjoyable outing and both Annie and Charlie were happy at the end of the day.

© November 23, 2015 | Annie Zalezsak

Watching ‘Elf’

A few of the Macramé Owls got together yesterday for a special airing of ‘Elf’ to get them into the holiday spirit!

Photo: Annie Zalezsak

’Twas a month before Christmas…

'Twas a month before Christmas

’Twas a month before Christmas when all through the house
No Macramé was stirring, not even the Owls.
The stockings were hung by the air conditioner with care
in hope that Santa’s helpers would launder them.

Gellatly Nut Farm Outing

We took a few Macramé Owls on their first autumn outing in the Okanagan. Fittingly, we went to a nut farm.

Pictured here (left to right) are myself (Annie Zed), Horatio, Gretchen, Horace, Betty Boo, Rosemary, and Albert.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

Across the street, we spotted a building that had potential as a Macramé Owl Sanctuary.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

Sadly, we can’t yet afford such luxurious accommodation, so we moved on to view the trees.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

Our community helper pointed out some educational info about the site to Betty Boo.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

We took time to pose as a group by the beautiful homestead.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

Gretchen insisted on having her photo taken by the antique nut washer, still in use today.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

We also took the opportunity for a photo with Jack Gellatly himself!

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

We had some fun with a wheelbarrow among autumn leaves.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

We walked all the way to the lake.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

We spent the rest of the time just hanging around the grounds.

Gellatly Nut Farm | Copyright Annie Zalezsak

One last photo – a close-up, just for fun!

2015 Kelowna, Gellatly Nut Farm (53) WP

Washed Up Macramé Owl Thaws on Shores of Okanagan Lake

A great mystery that appeared on the shores of Okanagan Lake has had the Macramé Owl Sanctuary team stumped.

Our transition of Macramé Owl Sanctuary headquarters to Canada has been fraught with delay and hardship. With lack of funding and suitable accommodation, the Macramé Owls have been living in cramped quarters, doing their best to maintain high spirits. While discussing housing issues, sanctuary volunteer, Darius Prince and I took a long walk along the beach of Okanagan Lake in the British Columbia Rocky Mountain interior.

Darius spotted a mysterious round parcel that had washed up onto the beach. What the heck was it?

Lo and behold, it was labelled “To the Macramé Owl Sanctuary, Canada”. What are the odds?!

There appeared to be a bit of a crack along the side of this chrysalis-like packaging. Coincidentally, we noticed nearby that somebody had left a blanket. Wanting to keep this sad package dry, we gently moved it over onto this blanket. We weren’t quite sure what to do next. As we pondered it, Darius noted a raft of ducks on the lake were slowly approaching us.

Then we noticed something really wierd was happening. Something began to emerge from the packaging!

Slowly slithering, something was creeping out!

On closer examination, Darius identified the tell-tale signs of jute and yarn, which is the typical plumage of the Macramé Owl.

Testing its vital signs, Darius is happy to report, it’s alive!

A strange, heartwrenching note affixed to its tail read: “Please love me, too.”

One of the mallards made it to shore, approaching with a concerned-sounding quack.

We decided we had to get this magnificent specimen away from the wet sand and cold snow to ensure its survival.

Looking a little shell-shocked, we encouraged the Macramé Owl to have a little rest upon a park bench.

A little compassion goes a long way with a Macramé Owl.

We decided he was too weak to remain homeless, so we brought him to the Macramé Owl Sanctuary for further rest and recuperation.

His origin remains a mystery, but our team is working with clues and will update you on his condition when we are able to piece together more information.

© March 2, 2014 | Annie Zalezsak

Perkins Arrives

Windblown and somewhat discombobulated, Perkins arrived safe and sound at the Macramé Owl Sanctuary today. His journey began before Christmas when he set out from Valleyford, Washington, USA on one way ticket with only a brown paper bag tied in festive string, and a Macramé Showcase magazine to keep him entertained.

Macrame Owl Perkins

The Macramé Owl Sanctuary Team (MOST) were a bit concerned about delays often occurring when travelling during the holiday season. Over the last week, we had been hearing night time owl hoots in the distance, so we did sense that Perkins was near. Last night’s fierce storms across the United Kingdom caused us considerable alarm. Around midday, the rains subsided, and we searched the area for any sightings. It was then that Perkins was spotted. He had become stuck on one of the nearby fences that had been blown about by the 90km winds.

Perkins at the gateWe are pleased to report that Perkins was immediately admitted to the Macramé Owl Sanctuary.

Despite being rather stiff and stunned, we managed to pry him through the gate.

After a soothing cup of tea indoors, clearly still “out of sorts”, Perkins was left to rest comfortably on the sofa.

Perkins resting

Whimsical Macramé Owl

3 January 2012

Initial Assessment and History
Perkins was discovered nearby the Macramé Owl Sanctuary grounds in a confused state due to a severe storm and several days of sleep deprivation. He was prescribed plenty of bed rest, and is expected to recover from his trying trek within several days.

Read more about Perkins.

Planning for the Owlympics

Blossom and Curtis stroll by the canal near the Olympic grounds in London

Olympic Venue Construction in London

Macramé Owls Blossom and Curtis recently took a trip to London to check out the progress of Olympic venues under construction for the Olympic Games being held 27 July to 12 August 2012. While security was tight and there was no pedestrian access to any of the sites, Blossom and Curtis were delighted to get a few shots near some of the soon-to-be completed Olympic landmarks.

The Velodrome

Curtis can’t take his eyes off the magnificent Velodrome, while Blossom is more interested in posing for the camera.

Curtis and Blossom near the Velodrome, London

Since both are on the planning committee for the first ever Owlympics, the two were keen to be inspired. While events are still being organized, several Macramé Owl athletes are currently in training.

Meanwhile, Owlympic merchandise is already being sold through the Macrame Owl Shop.

Blossom and Curtis had to roam the area quite a bit before finding gaps like this through which to spot views of the buildings. Here, Curtis peers through an old locked gate and zooms in on a view of the Olympic Stadium, complete with bathing swans in the foreground.

Curtis zooms in for a sneak peek at Olympic Stadium

They walked across a strange bridge to get a snapshot of the Olympic Stadium from another angle.

Before leaving London, Curtis and Blossom stopped briefly to admire the autumn beauty at Victoria Park.

Curtis and Blossom at Victoria Park

Even though the Owlympics will not be on as grand a scale as these London games, Blossom and Curtis are confident that they will be equally special!

Confessions of a Chocowlholic

We all know that Macramé Owls love sweets, but chocowlholism is a specific addiction afflicting only a few. Macramé Owl Mike is one of them. Through years of chocolate abuse, Mike’s jute has turned a chocolate brown. While his chocolate intake is being monitored, every now again, he slips backward. Earlier today, I walked in on Mike and Alfonso partaking in a chocolate binge in my bedroom.

Alfonso was particularly startled, and was no doubt the instigator and enabler of this indulgence. Alfonso is particularly known for his mischief regarding sweets. (See also Alfonso’s Sweet Tooth.)

Rather than scolding or lecturing, sometimes it’s best to just leave a Macramé Owl to learn from his own experiences. When I went to check on them a few hours later, it was a sore, belly-aching sight: both Mike and Alfonso were on their backs, bellies distended, groaning with the discomfort of overdoing it on chocolate.

Let’s hope that this time, they learn their lesson!

The Owly Way Is Essex

Macramé Owl Curtis is a fan of the TV show, “The Only Way Is Essex“. Having heard that star Lydia Bright recently opened a shop called Bella Sorella with her sister Georgia in Loughton, he fancied his chances to meet her. So, along with Blossom, we travelled there this past weekend.

Bella Sorella on Loughton High Road, Essex

Trying to build up the nerve to enter the shop, Curtis and Blossom decided to treat themselves to cakes across the road at Belgique.

Belgique in Loughton

There were so many to choose from, but Blossom enjoyed the almond mousse cake, while Curtis craved the fruit tart.

Blossom and Curtis at Belgique in Loughton, Essex

Then they spotted Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe and decided to detour through there.

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, Loughton, Essex

Blossom and Curtis were excited by the vast range of sweetie choices! (As you know, Macramé Owls love their sweets!)

Curtis and Blossom peruse the old fashioned sweets

They were dazzled by the rows of sugary treats!

Sugar rush!

They selected some Pick ‘n’ Mix.

Curtis and Blossom select some Pick 'n' Mix

Still lacking the confidence to go into Bella Sorella, they speculated on whether a drink for “dutch courage” at the local pub (The Last Post) was in order.

Annie Zalezsak with Curtis and Blossom

But Curtis’ shyness was too overwhelming to risk meeting Lydia at Bella Sorella that day. Back to the hotel they went to enjoy some of the treats they bought.

Blossom and Curtis with treats

The following day, Curtis regretted an opportunity missed (and worried about the teasing he might have to face from his friends back at the Macramé Owl Sanctuary). So he finally drummed up the nerve to go into the Bella Sorella shop. And before I knew it, there they were, Blossom and Curtis, within the shop window and ever so near to the stars of The Only Way Is Essex!

Blossom and Curtis in the window of Bella Sorella

While Blossom and I (Annie Zed) admired this beautiful dress, Curtis remained shyly standoffish.

Annie and Blossom admire Lydia Bright's dress at Bella Sorella

Curtis still needed some nudging to get in for a close-up with the TOWIE girls.

Blossom and Curtis were in heaven amid the luscious cupcakes at Bella Sorella!

Curtis was particularly starry-eyed to be so near a cupcake with sweet thing Lydia’s picture on it!

Curtis with Lydia cupcakes

Satisfied with their visit, they posed with another fabulous Essex girl, Jacqui Cullen, outside the shop.

Curtis and Blossom with Essex girl, Jacqui Cullen

Little did Curtis know, Lydia was smiling at him from inside the store!

Lydia knows!

Happy with their purchases back at the hotel, Curtis and Blossom marvel about their Essex experiences.

Curtis and Blossom with their Bella Sorella purchases

Curtis is still dreaming about how close he was to Lydia. He still can’t bring himself to eat the cupcake with her photo on it!

Curtis with Lydia cupcake and other Bella Sorella sweet things

Macramé Owl Desecration

This is perhaps the most astonishing Macramé Owl survival story we have heard of to date. Have tissues at the ready. This story will move you to tears.

A little over 2 weeks ago, far away in New Zealand, Colleen Millar innocently purchased a doormat. Concerned about the environment, Colleen was delighted when the shop keeper assured her that the mat was made of recycled materials. Rolled up tightly with cotton string, she took the doormat home.

When she unrolled it, some mysterious objects fell out.

She didn’t think much about it at the time. She simply laid the doormat out on her door step.

Colleen is an avid supporter of the Macramé Owl Sanctuary and a frequent visitor to our Facebook page. Upon reading our report about Macramé Owl poaching, she was mortified to learn that Macramé Owls are still be hunted for their jute. When she put two-and-two together, she became considerably alarmed. Were poached Macramé Owl bodies recycled for something as indignant as a doormat?! Desperate for advice, she sent us this picture of her doormat (see below) and expressed her distress at this inconceivable possibility.

Doormat... or is it?

The Macramé Owl Sanctuary Team hears many tragic stories of Macramé Owl neglect. But this story truly hit home. Sadly, we had to inform Colleen that she may have unknowingly been involved in an immoral transaction with this purchase. We advised her to check the mat carefully for any remnants of ceramic eye or beak. Colleen reports:

“It occured to me that I had noticed a feather or two in the house. I just thought they had been blown in by the wind. But suddenly, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I ran to the door, and Bob, our cat, had already made the gruesome discovery. Bob had somehow flipped the mat over, and was investigating random pieces of Macramé Owl parts!

“I nearly heaved. It was a disgusting sight! Nonetheless, I knew I had to photo-document this so that other innocent shoppers are not deceived; that they will be alerted about what to look for; and that no Macramé Owl is victimized by this insane, inhumane criminality ever again.”

Colleen with doormat made of recycled Macramé Owl

While we may never know what horrors this Macramé Owl has been through, or what he looked like in his former incarnation, there is a happy ending to this atrocity. This doormat landed in the hands of Colleen, a caring Macramé Owl advocate, who just so happens to work as a Sterilization Technician in a medical environment. Colleen explains:

“There are some fine surgeons on our team, so I asked for their advice, and pulled in a few favours,” said Colleen. “It was touch-and-go at times, and I really wasn’t sure Frankie would pull through reconstructive surgery following such a traumatic ordeal. It just goes to show you what immense survival spirit the Macramé Owl species has. We’ll save them from extinction yet!”

Pictured below, a relieved Colleen keeps Frankie warm as he recuperates from surgery at home. How did he get the name Frankie? Colleen reveals:

“Well, obviously, we didn’t know what variety of Macramé Owl he was. Or even if he was a he or a she! So we named ‘him’ Frankie, after Frankenstein. We felt it was appropriate since we rebuilt him from random Macramé Owl parts and gave him life. I admit, he is a bit odd looking, and has a tendency to stare at nothing in particular, but that is typical of most Macramé Owls… isn’t it?”

Frankie and Colleen

Out of all tragedy comes some good. Colleen has since volunteered to campaign for Macramé Owl Anti-Poaching laws to be introduced into New Zealand. She truly exemplifies our motto: WITTOSOMO! (Whatever It Takes To Save Our Macramé Owls!)