29 January 2010
Skywatch Friday: Winter Sundown, Watchful Owl
Finally, a winter sky worthy of offering up for Skywatch Friday. We have had a few decent weather days this past week, although some afternoons the clouds roll in by day's end as if the sun is winter weary and needs to go to sleep earlier than his prescribed bedtime. The other evening, however, my Longsuffering Spouse and I were both struck by two things. One, that the days were getting noticeably longer, and two, that the sunsets were moving back across the horizon further to the west. LSS, a retired fisherman and inveterate skywatcher, always notices when the sun starts setting further and further to the west, across the back of our property line. We've months to go before it reaches its farthest point and starts moving back again, of course. But as the days grow longer, my outlook grows more cheery. And I grow busier, too.
This afternoon when I got home, LSS was out in the paddock bringing in Leggo and Jenny for the night, and when he saw me he got very excited. As soon as the animals were in, he eagerly dragged me out to the end of the driveway and pointed down the road to a 'blog' sitting on a telephone wire. "We had this owl here this morning!" he said excitedly. "He sat in that dying tree in the back yard and watched me as I put the horse out, and watched me fill the bird feeders, too. And when we came back from the woodlot, he was down there on the wire."
I got into the car and sneaked casually down the road and sure enough, there was a barred owl sitting on the wire, back to the road. I took a few photos from inside the car, while he--or she--looked over my way a few times but seemed unalarmed. I very quietly got out of the car, and the head swung right around to look at me, and I froze, and the owl stayed put. I took a few more photos as I edged closer, and then I took one step too many, because Owl looked at me, clacked his beak once, and took off, flying over my head and down into the woods. It was a very cool experience.
A friend of mine has been building owl nesting boxes and has promised us one, which we'll somehow put up in one of the big old spruces further down our property line. Barred owls are native here and while we hear them in the woods around our place all the time, I haven't seen one this close for a while. I hope he has a taste for starlings, as there has been a small flock hanging around our place, and I dislike starlings.
This has been a busy week, and I've yet to have time to finish two posts that I've been working on; one sharing my latest adventures, the other one far more important as it pertains to encouraging other bloggers. I'm always glad to be busy, but I'll get that latter post up this weekend sometime. I'll be interested to see what the response is.
post written by jodi (bloomingwriter)