Sunday, April 29, 2007

Barred Owl

Out fussing about the garden, picking tomatoes and cukes just as the sun went down, I looked up in time to see a barred owl swoop across the yard and land in the huge magnolia that dominates our side lot. He stayed there long enough for me to get my wife and son out to see, then flew to a new perch on the privacy fence at the perimeter of our property. He heard our whispers and turned his head 180 degrees to stare right at us. I felt a slight urge, something deep, hardly mammalian, tell me to run when its eyes locked on mine -- his glassy eyes were dilated and so predatory. He blinked a few times, then silently glided off into the brush.

Though we live in the middle of DeLand, ours is an old neighborhood, platted in the early 1920s. The century old live oaks that shade the block provide a haven (and plenty of tasty squirrels) for hawks and owls.

Though this is the first time I actually saw him, I hear his call at dawn and dusk: Who-cooks-for-you? Who-cooks-for-you???

5 comments:

thingfish23 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thingfish23 said...

Look thee here and here for more Strix varia action.

Seems downright Hitchcockian to me. Maybe they're up to something.

Wicked Gardener said...

When I planted my parent's lot near a wood area in Ocala, an owl was my evening companion for almost a week. He sat on a fence post in the corner of the garden and was nightly look out for rabbits and mice - who were incidently munching on much of my veggies. So interesting to hear of someone else with a similar situation.

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