March 1 , 2008

SUBJECT: The Exciting Adventures of Owlman!

In a dingy, smoke-filled back room somewhere in Houston, MN, Friends of the Houston Nature Center cast their votes naming the new owl mascot. When all the votes were tallied, one name stood out like a saw-whet on a open branch: "Hooston". The name "Hooston" was suggested by no other than Alan J. Stankevitz—a mild-mannered bird photographer.

In honor of suggesting the winning name, Alan was allowed to don the owl mascot costume. Little did anyone know at the time that Alan would soon morph himself into OWLMAN and the world would never be the same.

We now bring you...


Faster than a speeding owl pellet! More efficient than a hybrid car! Able to leap cordwood buildings in a single bound! Look up in the sky! It's a rufous sided towhee! A yellow-bellied sapsucker! An Ivory-Billed Woodpecker!'s Owlman. Yes, it's Owlman, a (very) strange visitor from another planet (located in the owl nebula) who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of your average bird photographer. Owlman who has the strength to handhold the Canon 600mm lens, fix photos with Photoshop and who, disguised as Alan Stankevitz, mild-mannered photographer fights a never ending battle for proper lighting, fast shutter speeds and for something to photograph other than a house sparrow.

In our last episode, Owlman was attending the International Festival of Owls in Minnesota's fair city of "Hooston" when his owl phone hooted. "Hooo's there?", he asked. It was Karla Kinstler, the Director / Naturalist from the Hooston Nature Center. "Owlman, we need some comic relief right away!" she exclaimed. "I'll be right there as soon as I finish coughing up this pellet. I've got a vole bone stuck in my throat that's killing me." he said with a cough.

"Ducking" into the nearest high school cafeteria kitchen, Alan instantly (It actually took about 10 minutes. Maybe it was only 5 but it felt like 10) morphed into Owlman.

But before the transformation was complete, Owlman made sure his head was on straight (a first for Owlman):

Then he was off to add comic relief! But first...he got a kiss from an Owlman groupie. (Little did he know that he had transformed himself into a "chick" magnet.)

Out of his secret hiding place he flew, prepared for the flock of spectators soon to fly his way.

Instantly children and adults rushed to Owlman's side knowing that his super-owl powers would protect them from whatever crisis might strike.

And then Owlman heard a cry for help from a little girl. ", help!" she cried. Maggie needed to be saved from the evil clutches of her sisters. Owlman quickly swooped into action and picked up the girl with his exceedingly strong wings.

(Pictured below are Owlman's Great-nieces: Katie, Maggie and Jessie)

Soon after, Owlman flapped his wings into action for another photo-op with children holding owl puppets and other International Festival of Owls memorabilia (including books on owl puke).

With Owlman's job complete, Owlman heads back to the cafeteria kitchen to transform himself back into a mild-mannered bird photographer waiting once again for the owl phone to hoot.



What will happen in the next adventure? Will Owlman put on the costume again and risk heat stroke? Will Owlman be "Barred" from the next year's International Festival of Owls? Will Owlman appear in a "pellet court" to face charges of bad humor? ...Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Owlman. "He's everywhere! He's everywhere!"





Web design © 2008, Alan Stankevitz
All photographs © 2002-2008, Alan Stankevitz

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