Thursday, October 05, 2006
I had a cool experience last night. I went for a 2-miler at dusk, and was captivated by the idyllic, Fall evening--crisp air, breeze in my face, leaves dancing across the dirt road ahead of me. On my last 1/2 mile, I heard a whoosh! just to my right. As I looked, I saw a huge shape gliding gracefully and silently beside me, and then cut across diagonally and upward in front of me--a Great Horned Owl! It landed high in a Spruce just a few yards ahead of me. I slowed my pace, and ran up to the base of the tree. We sat there, just staring into each others' eyes for a long moment (about a full minute.) Then with one whoosh! it took off silently through the trees and into the night. What an amazing sight. Interestingly, the boys and I had had another encounter with such a raptor earlier in the day. We'd gone to our local library's "StoryTime", and the subject today was "Owls." Instead of a story, Ms. Peggy had invited a volunteer for the Alaska Raptor Center to visit us. It was amazing to see one of these gorgeous creatures so up-close-and-personal. We learned a couple of interesting facts: Owls are the only birds who fly silently, and, they are very quiet all year long until Fall, when they begin hooting. They are very plentiful, and so, I encourage each of you to step outside some evening this Fall and listen carefully!