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)

39 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, and what a gorgeous owl. They are such a beautiful majestic bird, without being as intimadating as eagles or hawks (in my opinion). :)

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  2. Great shot of your Barred Owl Jodi! Lucky you to have that experience too! Winter does give us spectacular sunrises and sunsets... I am facing east so I see the first light where you get to see the last. (Maybe you can see both?) I too notice how the sun moves along the hill going further west a tiny bit each day. It is fun to be able to watch our celestial neighbors this way. Beautiful sky photo! Say, is that a blue tarp I see? ;>)) Looking forward to your next post!

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  3. And I'll be interested to read it, Jodi. This owl is WAY cool. Look at those feathers! Your photo is award-worthy. Seriously. Your sunset photo is nice too although I must say it looks c-c-ccold in your part of the world. :)

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  4. This is my first time here and I just loved this post. I think owl's are very magickal even though in many cultures they portend "doom" I feel the opposite. I think they're a sign from "Athena" the Goddess of wisdom, (for those who don't know) telling you, keep on doing whatever you're doing, because magick is afoot. I also love that you're owned by seven magnificent felines. I'm owned by two lovely furbabies who are sisters. Looking forward to more of your posts and really am excited about the owls and you're preparing for them.
    Blessings to all of you,
    Wendy

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  5. Jodi - your Owl is beautiful! I look forward to hearing about the nesting box, and if he(or she) will move in permanently.

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  6. Dear Jodi, I am always entranced when your pictures allow glimpses into the countryside surrounding your home. Such a wonderful unspoilt landscape, and how refreshing to see wildlife in their natural habitat. In London it seems these days that we only have pigeons, starlings and, rather strangely and in increasing numbers, urban foxes.

    I shall be intrigued to learn of your recent adventures and any advice to new bloggers is surely most welcome.

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  7. Hello Jodi, I'm a 'newbie' who just discovered your lovely blog via Blotanical. Your photo of the sun setting is beautiful and the owl is just stunning. What a wonderful visitor to have!

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  8. What a marvelous experience Jody. I would be excited too. Maybe that was a he checking for someplace to nest so he could lure his sweetheart to this area. I am sure they would eat starlings. Mice are probably an easier catch. The sky photo is gorgeous.

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  9. hi jodi
    beautiful beautiful post today :D
    owls fascinate me
    and i truly believe that winter sunsets are the best
    thanks for sharing your corner of the world
    enjoy your day
    tabby

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  10. what a grand bird....lucky you for seeing him

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  11. What a beautiful sunset Jodi!

    We hear owls here all the time late at night, but I've yet to see one. They are such beautiful creatures.

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  12. A stunning photo, Jodi, and perfect ending to a lovely day. Your barred owl captured my heart :) You must have been thrilled!

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  13. Beautiful sky pic!

    I've never seen an owl in person before, outside of a zoo. I can hear them hooting at night, but haven't caught one with my eye as of yet ;)

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  14. Nice post, Jodi. We, too, are skywatchers these days as the sun stays up a bit longer in the afternoons (looking forward to when we can say 'evening'). Great shot of the owl! Have a great weekend. Hank

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  15. Love your owl photo, jodi! It's hard to get close enough to them to do that! He's beautiful. Romie got a book from the girls for Christmas called "Intriguing Owls" by Stan Tekiela, because he is fascinated by our resident Great Horned Owl. Stan's books have stunning photography and great facts. Check it out!

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  16. What an exciting treat Jodi. They are just beautiful. Sadly I have not heard or saw any around here for years.

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  17. Glorious sunset & I know the excitement of a large bird letting you photograph him, if only for a moment. Your shot of the owl is a great capture! Look forward to reading your adventures and encouragement!!

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  18. Great shot of the owl Jodi, It is always exciting to see one .

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  19. I love your photo. I haven't seen or heard an owl here in ages. Too much open land and not enough forest I guess.
    Marnie

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  20. How cool Jodi, I had a owl nesting in my garden last year, it was so exciting I am hoping she comes back this year

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  21. That is so interesting, imagine seeing a owl in your area. I have heard them in the night up country. A very eerie sound for sure.

    Jen

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  22. Hi Jodi,
    I believe that owl nesting boxes need to be quite high in the trees - 20 feet?
    We put one up a few years ago and hired a chimney sweep to bring his tall ladder out and put it up for us.
    Such a spectacular bird. Great photo!
    Cindee

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  23. Jodi girl that was such a treat !
    I too track how the sun moves but my speciality is sunrise. I know exactly how it will start to change (which it is now)and what to look for to capture great sky pictures.
    Your sunset was gorgeous .. wish I could have been there for that and the amazing owl experience ! What a beauty .. I have always loved owls and their "hoots" ? LOL
    Great post girl !
    Joy (with the cold from hell) ;-)
    PS .. I'll try and keep my germs here ? haha

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  24. Lovely owl. Wonderful creatures with a place on the planet. We've talked about putting up screech owl boxes here but don't want to encourage predation on the songbirds...

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  25. That is beautiful sky. How nice to have all that open space to really appreciate it.
    The owl is really neat, I don't think I've seen one that close before. Wouldn't it be nice if it or another moved into an owl nesting box on your property.

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  26. Jodi, what a great picture. I have never seen an owl up close. it is wonderful. Nice post. jim

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  27. Jodi, it must have been thrilling to get so close and have your photos turn out so well. The days are getting longer even if we aren't getting to see the sun much this winter. But even the occsional glorious sunset makes it all worth while.

    Looking forward to both posts!

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  28. I know the skywatch picture is at the top of the page but the owl steals the show. It's hard to believe it's a photo . . . it's so deliciously precise - like a specially well drawn drawing. You must be very proud of it - as well as pleased to have had an experience to treasure.

    Lucy

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  29. Oh, what a wonderful, wonderful day! I love seeing owls--it is as if we are graced with a visitor from another world.

    And what a beautiful sky.

    I too am glad the days are getting longer. I am looking out my study window as I write this and the setting sun has reached beneath the gloomy clouds to light up the ice-covered trees with a bit of fire. It must have been inspired by your photo.

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  30. I've had that experience of a barred owl sitting in a tree watching me go about my outdoor chores. It's magical, and not something you quickly forget! -Jean

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  31. What a terrific post! I love the sunrise! We are blessed to have a family of owls that stay in the trees near my lady garden. I was out this morning, and the owls were hooting at each other. I wrote about these owls in my "Rocking along in the lady garden" post if you want to read it. You can find it easily in my archives.

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  32. I am always absolutely thrilled to see an owl. Great photo!

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  33. Nice to visit again, Jodi - it's been quite awhile and we've been so out of touch! I hope all is well in your world across the bay (hunkered down in a gorgeous snowday?)

    Owls bring wisdom...what words did he have for you?

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  34. The winter landscape at sunset is beautiful, Jodi! My dog Sophie got me up earlier than planned this morning, so I noticed that the sunrise was much earlier than it has been, too. I agree when the days get longer, I get more cheerful and energetic. Great shot of the owl! I hear them all the time here at night, but have yet to spot one.

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  35. Sunsets and owls make the week complete. Great photos.

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  36. Can't wait to read the upcoming posts, Jodi. You have piqued my curiosity. ;)

    We have an owl that we only know by his nighttime calls outside the bedroom window. I'm envious that you've gotten to know yours by sight now, as well. He (or she) is a regal beauty.

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  37. Beautiful post! Wowee...I am dazzled by your Beautiful Owl..super gorgeous! Lucky! Fantastic shot!
    Kiki~

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  38. http://roostershamblin.wordpress.com/ would you please spend a few minutes and check out my blog. I am a farmer who has been raising over fifty breeds of chickens for forty years.

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  39. wow, what a great capture and a great story too, now i need to go on an owl picture hunt here...they are so elusive aren't they?

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