28 February 2007

Wise, Old Owl

Last night at 10:30 pm, I had to make an unexpected trip to the store. Back at home, I set the bags down on the kitchen counter and happened to glance out the window to our backyard. It was dark outside, except for the reflection of the moon on the snow. From our window, I could see these two trees. The very top of the pine tree on the right caught my eye, as it appeared to be sticking up a bit more than usual. I looked more closely and suddenly noticed a wise, old owl perched on the very top. In the moonlight, I could see that his body was brownish gray and his breast was white. His head rotated side to side as he no doubt scouted for the rabbits that scurry around our backyard.

I called to
my husband to come see. At first, he thought I must be imagining things (which would not be that unusual for me), but he soon saw the owl, too. We ran upstairs to the bedroom window to get a closer look. With binoculars in hand, DH got an excellent view of Wise, Old Owl and estimated him to be nearly two feet high. But just as DH handed the binoculars to me, off he flew.

Of course, I don't know for sure what kind of owl he was, but based on where we live and what he looked like, I think he may have been a Great Gray Owl like the one pictured here.
I've often heard owls calling in our back yard at night, but I've never, ever seen one. I still can't believe how neat it was to spot this magnificent bird. Like seeing a whale in the ocean or a deer in a clearing, I consider it a privilege to get a glimpse of a world that is normally hidden to humans.

I told our daughter about Wise, Old Owl this morning as she was getting ready for school. "I'm going to wear my owl socks today," she said. And now we're going to be watching for him every night.

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