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. 


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

Popular posts from this blog

Worth Quoting

"Therefore whoever is not illuminated by such great splendors in created things is blind. Anyone who is not awakened by such great outcries is deaf. Anyone who is not led from such great effects to give praise to God is mute. Anyone who does not turn to the First Principle as a result of such signs is a fool.Therefore open your eyes, alert your spiritual ears, unlock your lips and apply your heart, so that in all the creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and adore, magnify and honor God, lest the entire world rise up against you." -- St. Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in Deum

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…

The 11th Hour

If you haven't celebrated Christmas by now, you're not likely to start. Conversely, you don't have to quite let it go yet.

Fight the ahistoricity! It's a feast of twelve days and depending on how you count, this is eleven or Epiphany Eve.

In the Christian East, tonight is the vigil of Theophany.

Theophany/Epiphany are two different sides of the same coin.

The West honors the Magi--who represent all of us goyim--and the miracle at the wedding at Cana (water for wine, anyone?)

The East honors Jesus' baptism, and in more minor ways his circumcision and the Magi, too.

It's all about a manifestation, a revealing, a shining forth. The Trinity is revealed (at the baptism), salvation is revealed to all the world (the Magi), the start of Jesus' public ministry (Cana).

Just as the Incarnation honors all bodies, as the Son suddenly was born with one, so Theophany honors all the Earth's waters.

Paralleling the Jewish Festival of Lights, this perfectly winds down th…