"In the night...the scream of the rabbit is terrible. But the scream of the owl which is not of pain and hopelessness and fear of being plucked out the world, but of the sheer rollicking glory of the death-bringer, is more terrible still. When I hear it resounding through the woods, and then the five black pellets of its song dropping like stones into the air, I know I am standing on the edge of the mystery, in which terror is naturally and abundantly part of life, part of even the most becalmed, intelligent, sunny life--as for example, my own. The world where the owl is endlessly hungry and endlessly on the hunt is the world in which I live, too. There is only one world."
Mary Oliver, Blue Pastures

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

On Flying Dogs and Owls

We sleep with our heads to an open window. Years ago I removed the bed headboard to allow soft summer breezes and the lullaby of evening sounds to lull us to sleep. When we first moved to Oakwood 30 years ago we drifted off to the soft whinney of Screech Owls. 

Then the more entertaining Barred Owls moved in. This did not bode well for the little Screech Owls. They either moved on or became lunch. More likely the latter.


About 10 years ago I built the most owlish birdhouse I could come up with. It turned out to be unexpectedly heavy. Unexpectedly? It is 2' x 2' x 3' high, constructed of recycled 3/4" redwood. It took all my engineery expertise - cables and cams, levers and ladders, pulleys and ropes, to get it ratched up with a rusty old come-a-long into the big Bur Oak. And it looks for all the world like a doghouse for flying canines. This photo was taken the day I put it up. Over the years since then it has weathered in nicely and has become part of the oak tree ... but it has never, ever housed owls.

Last night we heard a Great Horned Owl. It is not as vocally entertaining as the Barred Owls, but its voice carries much more authority.

I hear the owl call my name ... again.  - Gunnar

1 comment:

Annie Mattson said...

I hope the Great Horned Owl moves in! If you see him/ her, please put me on speed dial!