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in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Twilight Owls...

I wish I had a better picture for you, to show my two very enchanting experiences this week with two different owls in our neighborhood, but you’ll just have to trust me. All I have to show for it is this silhouetted picture of a small owl. That would be the little dark blob in the photo of the tree. :) The other one was a huge Great Horned Owl perched in our next door neighbor’s tree, very close to our house. There is such a sacred feeling to be able to view wildlife in a residential neighborhood like this (besides rabbits, squirrels and hawks). And if I hadn’t been out on my walk I would not have seen the smaller owl. In fact I nearly missed it…

As I walked down the sidewalk my husband approached from the opposite direction in the car, as he was coming back from errands. He stopped, we briefly spoke, and I continued on my walk. However, I realized I had the garage door opener, and turned around and headed back. I waved to him to show that I had it, and he started walking towards me. Suddenly he started running towards me, which I found strange. I thought maybe we were going to have one of those magical romantic moments in slow motion that you only see in the movies. And I waited – but no – my mistake…

As he reached me and I handed off the opener he said to me – “Have I got a surprise for you” – peaking my intrigue – a surprise?! And he couldn’t wait until I got home?! After all we had just talked. But he just had to run to tell me now?! With a look of innocent wonder on his face, he pointed up at a tree across the street and said - “There’s your owl” – as if presenting me with a gift. He was - the gift of awareness, the gift of seeing what I had previously missed, and the gift of childlike amazement seen in his eyes. Priceless. He meant it was the owl we thought we had been looking for since hearing it last Summer.

I am hard of hearing and hadn’t heard the soft, gentle hoo-ing when I passed by this owl just a moment before. We both stood in amazement, and of course I whipped out the camera, and managed to get a few shots before it spotted us and suddenly flew off – which I almost missed because I had the camera in front of my face! We stood together for a moment marveling. My husband turned and walked back to the house, and I turned and continued on my twilight walk – in joyful wonderment at such a “romantic” moment -with the owl that is. As I walked, I marveled at the Mystery of Life living ItSelf all around me, in sunsets, and moon risings, on the ground, in the trees, and the winged ones that perch in them…

After I got back from my twilight walk the next evening, where you can be sure I was searching the trees for another view, my husband heard an owl hoo-ing close by. So we went out to look for it and followed the sound. We knew it was very close. It was dusk, but light enough to see the image against the liminally-lit sky. And with binoculars I could tell it was a Great Horned Owl, with its characteristic ear tufts, and a white neck ruffle – like a wise old judge from the Forest. It hooed a few more times from his perch high up in a cottonwood, seemingly unaware of our presence, and then quietly flew off with its elegant and swooping wide wing span. I do believe it was the Great Horned Owl that we heard last Summer and Fall. And maybe the smaller owl we saw the other night was the female version, as this is the beginning of their mating season. Ah ha! Romance *is* in the air! I am falling in love with Nature!

I am strangely comforted knowing that this incredible world of nature is just outside my door, teeming with Life. I am enamored with the idea that I may be living in Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood and haven’t even realized it – till now. So much goes on in nature all the time that we’re never really aware of, unless we put ourselves in a position and frame of mind to really *see* it… And to think that I don’t have to go off into the wilderness somewhere and wait for hours to spot it! I can’t imagine that I’ve missed all this beauty all these years by not paying attention and not being out at this time of day – the liminal time, where the subtleties of Life reveal themselves.

Last October we recorded and posted the mysterious sound of the owl that had been visiting so often at night. I thought I’d post it again here. Enjoy the lullaby :)








small stone

Small hoo-ing, coo-ing owl
sitting in gnarly branches
silhouetted in dusky light…

Swoops off to other perches,
other haunts,
leaving the echo of
her mysterious hooes
behind…

Awakens imagination…



16 comments:

  1. I love the photo you snapped and how you can make out the owls pointy ears. Encounters with animals are so sacred, I'm glad your neighbor owls are slowly revealing themselves (and that you walk with a camera).

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    1. Thank you Uma! :) Actually I didn't see the pointy ears with the naked eye, so I am glad I got the shot!

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  2. I love that time of day when the light is waning or waxing, something so magical about it. And owls, is it because we see them so seldom, or is it that call that is so strange and ethereal, that they seem pretty magical too?

    Glad you have moved into the 100 acre wood! Happy wandering. Looking forward to hearing more of your exploits there.I pulled out my old copy of the Tao of Pooh the other day, thanks to an earlier post of yours!

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  3. Carole ~ Yeah, glad I moved in too! And it was right here all along. Imagine that! :) Ah - wish I had a copy of the Tao of Pooh... Library doesn't have it. For me it is has been that mysterious call of the owl in the evening and night that seems so magical and sacred...

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  4. Ah, twice blessed by owls. Oh...that would be a good Native American style name for you! I've heard an owl hooting outside my house several times over the years but have never managed to catch sight of it. Less pleasing (as in almost terrifying)is the sound of a screech owl, aptly named.

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    1. louciao ~ Or "Owl Woman" :) I can't imagine hearing the sound of the screech owl all the time... I much prefer the soothing sound as they hoo and coo... Now I'm beginning to sound like Dr. Zeuss: They hoo and they coo, and look down at you, eyeing the world with a different view.
      Oh dear...:)

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  5. love your sense of humor about seeing your husband running toward you and anticipating a romantic moment. I chuckled.

    but you know, I who am husband/boyfriend less, think it quite romantic that your husband would run with such eagerness to point out the owl, and would go outside with you to pinpoint the owl hooting.

    again love your seeing your neighborhood anew, as the 100 acre wood.

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    1. Suki ~ Yes, actually it *was* rather romantic that he ran to tell me the owl was there, and the expression on his face *was* priceless. I was really just trying to be funny. :) We are both into owls these days because we have been hearing them around the house for more than a year now. We're like two little kids. We get excited when we hear them. And to see 2 in two days - well, what can I say.

      Yes, loving the 100 acre wood. And I already found a path off the beaten path (sidewalk) that I want to "expotition" soon. :)

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  6. Christine...you are a very fortunate human. <3

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    1. Thank you Maria! :) I am Being being excited to be ALIVE! :) Everything is ALIVE! Full of life and wonder in its spontaneity of living. LIFE living ItSelf in form. Nothing is left out. It *is* mysterious and wondrous - LOVE just being ItSelf.

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  7. This is such a thrill... thank you, Christine! I love seeing the photo too. I've long wanted to see an owl like this, closer up... or as close as one can get to one anyway. ;o) The house I grew up in was in a very rural setting, and I well recall the hoot of owls in the woods across the street with was connected to wheat/soy field. That sound in night is like no other... I miss is sometimes. But glad to have known it even for a time. :o) Happy Week ((HUGS))

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    1. Thank you Tracy... It's been enchanting for us too, to be this close, to hear them occasionally in the evenings or even early morning. I hope they visit often :) I'm sure they're there even when we don't see or hear them...

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  8. All's said. . . I echo, "Me, too,"
    rhyming along with the "hooo, hooo. . . "

    ;-)

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  9. I agree with Maria...You ARE a very fortunate human Being...YES! Romance...an all-pervading magical forest...and the sweet sound of Nature...what more could there possibly Be??? Thank You for sharing those sweet sounds...sounds identical to these sweet kittens here. :)
    -Leslie

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    1. Leslie ~ :) Ah yes, the Divine Play of Love loving ItSelf in all ITs forms... And we are THAT... No separation. How sweet it is... Much love... You have kittens?

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