June 5, 2013

Night Owl

So the other night I came home with Alicia from a girls' night out.  I was loudly walking and rustling plastic bags and didn't even notice the great horned owl watching me from two feet away.  Alicia yelled at me to stop and pointed out the lurking creature.  We both took a few steps back, then pulled out our cell phones and snapped a few pictures.

When it didn't move, I found my nicer camera and came back to attack it with my flash--all in the name of love of nature.  It didn't even stir.

Look at it just staring at me.  I think it was mesmerized by my amazing sequined shirt I'd worn out costume bowling with the girls (that, and also probably blinded by my flash.)  But in any case we stared into each others' souls and had a little bit of a human/owl bonding session.  And a staring contest.  It won.

I pulled Andrew out of bed since he loves animals and hauled him to the front door.  "Andrew! There's some nature on our porch.  Come and see!"  He lifted his heavy eyelids to catch a glimpse of it and was back in bed before I knew it. So I hauled Rex out of bed and he didn't last much longer than Andrew.  And finally I too decided I'd appreciated nature enough for one day and hit the sack.

When I woke up in the morning, it was still out there, along with a buddy.  They couldn't fly, and were just waddling around the yard.  It was surreal, like our property had just turned into the forest moon of Endor and these were little Ewoks.  Just look at the fluffy little things! 

Then I got worried.  They must be sick or something!  Did they eat poison?  They were acting so weird--not getting frightened away when I was making so much noise and then taking flash pictures, not being able to fly, being out and about in the daylight.  What was going on?!

I looked up the number for animal services, but saw that they didn't open until 8:00.  What are people supposed to do with their early morning owl emergencies?  I mean really!!  My kids would have to walk by them to get to the bus and they could be rabid, or even be wearing leather and carrying spears.  You just never know.

I needed answers, so I picked up the phone and called my neighbor who knows all about naturey things.  It was 6:30 a.m. and he was still sleeping.  (How he could sleep peacefully through a rabid owl infestation I will never know).  I told him I had an emergency--of the owl variety--and told him all about the strange behavior of the birds and asked what in the world can be going on?!!!

He sleepily and patiently pointed out that the owls I saw are called baby owls.

Awkward silence. 

Then, "Oh...uh...okay....well, sorry for getting you up...and...have a good day and stuff...kay.. bye!"

Then I looked around for a sand pit to bury my head in, but when I couldn't find one I just settled for trying to get sympathy from Andrew.  I thought I would feel better after talking to him, but he said, "Mom!!  Of course they were babies!  Didn't you see their fluffy gray feathers?  They don't have their real feathers yet.  Don't you know that?  And their claws...and...blah...blah...blah"  Whatever kid.  Stop reading all those sciency books and making your mom look bad.

Well, the owlets (I looked that word up) then proceeded to waddle across the street and that was the end of that.  At least until my neighbor told me that a few years ago an owl picked up her Yorkie and ate it!

Now there's something to worry about.



  1. I am scared of that big one a whole lot. But those babies! Adorable! Even if though they are babies I still think the whole encounter would make me think something weird was up. Can't believe the one on your porch just kept sitting there! Well that was awesome and and so fun to read about. :)

  2. There are two or more of them in the woods behind my place.i hear them hoot and respond to each other from different parts of the woods. i love hearing them.

  3. I love that you called your neighbor. I assume Rex was already gone to talk you down from that? I've made way too many panicy phone calls in my life, and itd be even more without Steve.

  4. They are awfully cute!