Skip to main content

Owl Prowl

Eastern screech owl (Photographer unknown--stolen from Qoop)
     Last Friday evening should have been perfect for spotting owls (either visually or aurally): owl courting season, nearly cloudless sky, 3/4 of a waxing moon, and a windless night.  Unfortunately, for the fifteen or so of us, led by the incomparable naturalist Dorothy McCleer, we came up owl-less.
     It was a cold, late fall evening, the brief snowfall from Thursday evening was all but vanished except for the white shellacking on the fallen trees.  We met inside U of M-Dearborn's Environmental Interpretive Center for a briefing of the species we might encounter--the great-horned owl, the screech owl, and possibly a barred owl, one of which had been hanging out in the basement of a Presbyterian church on the other side of the Rouge River.  We headed out into the cold dark and stopped by some oaks near the entrance.  Ms. McCleer quieted us down and whistled the smooth sliding call of the screech owl.  We scanned the dark cracks in the sky that were the bare tree branches for several minutes: nothing.
     We headed into the woods walking on not-quite frozen mud, stopping several times, watching, listening.  One won't hear an owl approach as their wing feathers are designed for silent flight (the better to catch you, my dear), so one either scans for flight or listens for a possible amorous response.  We did hear Canada geese several times, honking in Lake Fairlane, but that was as close as we came to owls.
     Ms. McCleer, without the aid of recordings called for barred owls and the great-horned ones as well, to no avail.  The owls were out there in the trees, but for whatever reason chose to deny us their spooky calls.  Still, tromping through the woods at night, in the hopes of an avian thrill is not a bad way to spend a Friday evening. 



Comments

admin said…
Nice Post! Keep Sharing these Types of Good Articles.
GadgetDealers.com

Popular posts from this blog

Dirty Hands Can Save You from Hell

"Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place." --Pope Francis, Laudato Si
     Wonder and awe abound in the natural world for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

     Perhaps we are caught short by a vibrant purple emanating from the petals of a wild lupine. We might stare wide-eyed at the lazy circles of a turkey vulture soaring on thermal air currents. Even the most agoraphobic city-dweller can find something beautiful about a landscape even if it's simply the warm and varied red, yellow, and orange of a sunset glowing on a building.

     "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" asserts the Psalmist. If that verse is true, why don't we live like it? Why are we flabbergasted trying to come up with the names of the many plants and animals we pass by everyday?

     All people respond to beauty in some way or another--even those who have willingly or unwi…

Worth Quoting

"...[K]eep in mind that a human being is not made for the processing of data, but for wisdom; not for the utilitarian satisfaction of appetite, but for love; not for the domination of nature, but for participation in it; not for the autonomy of an isolated self, but for communion." --Anthony Esolen,  Foreword to Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott.


PESD? Post-Election Stress Disorder

As I write this, the presidential election is still undecided. Which is fine. The Republicans have campaigned for 17 months now...there ought to be a law against that!
When I wake up tomorrow morning, we will have a new President-elect, and frankly I don't care who it is because both the major party candidates nauseated me.
I voted for a small third-party that I was actually excited about, that I believe(d) in, and may try to get involved at the local level at some point. That was important to me--voting for something, rather than against.

If tomorrow morning you wake up in agony at the thought of our new president, ignore it. Better yet, put that energy into your community. Fill blessing bags for the homeless to carry in your car. Go to a parks commission meeting. Tutor a struggling student. Learn the names of the trees in your neighborhood. Know your watershed. Help a neighbor rake leaves. Learn your neighbor's names! Join a civic group. Buy some coffee for the teachers in …