The summer I turned 13, my father took me steelhead…
Owl sightings are about as rare as our birthdays. Probably rarer. Get one per year, and you are lucky.
On a Sunshine Coast hike with Kathy and the mutt, we made a Facetime call to sing Happy Birthday to Kathy’s sister Paula in Calgary. (Well, we sang; Rosie plopped impatiently in the sun.) Then we heard robins scolding in the trees.
“Crows raiding a nest,” I thought. I hate when they do this. Songbirds have enough threats as it is from cats, windows and cars.
Kathy, walking ahead, waved at me to stop. “It’s an owl,” she whispered.And it was. Except it wasn’t. Because at my angle, I had to stare at the tree for probably ten seconds before the owl turned its head. Then I saw its big eyes looking back at me.
Their camouflage against evergreen bark is extraordinary. It’s one of the reasons they now thrive in the West. They are not native to our region.
The owl watched us calmly, motionless, apparently as unconcerned with us as it was about the yapping robins.
Like birthdays, such moments should be marked and savored. So Paula, this birthday owl is for you.