Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I had the most wonderful experience last night. At 9:00 p.m., as usual, our dog came and told me he needed to go outdoors before going to bed. He’s a big Lab/Malamute mix who was going to be an outdoor dog. Eight years ago he had an encounter with a porcupine on one of his nightly walks, so now he sleeps in the laundry room. Why not? He’s well-behaved! Smile.

We have a security light on the pump house and last night I saw something silently flying across the drain field. My first thought was a bat. I quickly dismissed the idea since it was clearly too big to be a bat. (We only have tiny ones around here). Next, I thought of an owl, but he wasn’t as big as the owls we usually see.

When I shined the flashlight on him, he turned toward the light and turned back in my direction. His curiosity was apparently as great as mine! He circled above me and we exchanged words for what seemed like the longest time as he hovered above my head. Eventually he decided to continue on his way and left. What a wonderful experience!

He was a small, light brown owl and sure seemed friendly.

A number of years ago, we had a big snowy owl who visited regularly. He’d often circle over me as if to say hello. He’d also perch in trees along our drive…once even on the gate… and fly in front of us as we drove up the long driveway at night. Once we parked the car, he’d circle overhead before soaring off into the surrounding forest. He was our silent, white friend for about two years before he stopped coming around.

Then I read in our local paper that a rare snowy owl, not known to inhabit this area of the country, had been illegally shot in a nearby national park. I cried.

We never saw him again. So, to see this little brown fellow was a thrill after all this time of not seeing very many owls. They are wonderful, friendly, inquisitive birds. He made my day – or rather my night.

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