My Yard is For the Birds
So, I have shared with you about the many creatures that seem to find their way into my yard, my garden, my life. I have had a beautiful Heron come to call as well as the bright cardinals and deep blue jays that are here daily.
My heart’s desire, however, has always been to be eye to eye with an owl. As one of my animal totems, Owl has long played a role in my sense of spirituality. We have quite an abundance of bird wildlife here, even though we are considered part of the city. There is an arboretum only a few streets over with a large pond and hiking trails. I have heard the owls many times in the middle of the night, often when I have found myself in tears and sorrow. They will magically appear outside to “hoo-hoo” me out of my misery and bring me scrambling into the yard, hoping for a glimpse even as they take wing and fly away. But no, they are forever elusive. Living in the city makes most birds a bit skittish and the contrast of streetlights and dense trees makes seeing up into the branches very difficult.
Last night as I sat in this room on my computer, I began to hear one, then two owls, talking back and forth. Sometimes I confuse their calls with those of the dove but they are decidedly different once you recognize it. I thought distractedly how lovely and that soon they would leave as always.
The calls, however, became more insistent and varied; and soon enough I thought they/he/she may be trying to coax me out of the house for a little sneak peek.
I jumped up, grabbed the camera and carefully sneaked out the front door. It continued to call softly. I could hear its wings rustling and even saw it flit between branches once, although I could not spot it well, even with the light of my flash. The camera also wouldn’t focus well, going in and out as it struggled to get the right “fix” on my elusive friend. Frustrated I walked back inside and mentioned to my husband what was going on and he promptly offered to come outside and hold a flashlight for me. He is so wonderful that way.
I only regret switching from my zoom lens, fearing that it might never focus correctly, forgetting in my excitement that I could merely change to a manual setting. Anyway, even though the flashlight was not quite adequate light and kind of washed things out, I was able to edit so that I could see my friend’s face pretty well. Funny, it did not like the light and would turn away; but several times it turned back and looked me right in the eye as if to say, “Okay. Here is your chance. Don’t waste it.”
After about a dozen shots, it tired of the attention and flew off into the night. But what a gift it left me. My first ever real live owl shots. I’ll get better and next time we will both be stars.
I am including a dark, blurry shot so that you can see how dark and far up into the tree it was. I feel so happy today!
This is how it appeared in the glow of the flashlight.
Giving me a “head shot” advantage.
Shy?? I don’t think so.
Okay here you go. My magnificent face. But that light, really.…
Our light really annoyed it.
Okay, just one more. Then I’m off! And just like that, it turned and lifted off into the dark. This tree is in my front yard so when it, or its friends, return, I will know for sure. Maybe it will remember and give me a second chance. ;))