Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Day With Owls in It

So I've had a rough couple of days, days with bits I could definitely do without scattered through out them.(1)

And I did what I always(2) do on rough days. I went to the library(3) and then for a walk in the park afterward.

And I saw the owls.

I heard about them a bit over a year ago, but the person who told me about it knew only that they were "around" the library and she "thought" they came back every year, and there is a lot of area "around the library," so I had never seen them.

This time, though, I ran into a small group of people waiting for the fledglings to try their evening flight, and, with help, was able to spot the fledglings in one tree and one of the parent birds watching on another.

They are hard to see. Turn away for a moment to watch an oriole or admire a butterfly, and the owls become bark on a tree, or bits of light and shadow near the trunk. I had to keep rediscovering them every time I looked away.

I took very few pictures because just a few minutes in, the camera ran out of batteries, and when I went to put spares in, I realized that those were the spares(4).

So I stayed and watched.

The owls shifted their feet and turned from tree to bird and back again. A hummingbird flew to the fountain for a drink of water. Butterflies drifted down from the eucalyptus tree. An oriole took flight.

And, eventually, I got tired and hungry, and went home.

The owls never did more than fly cautiously from one branch to another while I was there.

But the night looks better now.

Like broken glass. I could've done without that.

(2)"Always" meaning "always when I can and when I have the sense to do it."

(3) Please to note that references to library visits do not necessarily indicate that I've had a bad day. I go to the library when I am blue, it is true. I also go when I'm happy, just happen to be in the area, have books due, have books on hold, am with someone else who is going, or because I feel like it for no reason at all.

(4)One of the other watchers there, someone who helped me spot the owls more than once, did have a camera with batteries, and she has a website, so if you want pictures that definitely show owls that you can tell are owls, take a look. She hasn't put tonight's pictures up yet, but it looks like the owls will be here, and the orioles might end up here. I know she got at least one good closeup of an owl peering down, and she may have caught one of the flights.

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