Is that an owl in that there tree?
Could it be?...
Yes. It's true. -- There's a screech owl in that tree!
For the past thirteen years, the only birds hanging around our stoic, 50-year-old honey locust have been hungry woodpeckers, robins, cardinals, blue jays, black starlings, and sparrows... so the thought of actually having a raptor take up residence is pretty darn nifty (I like to say)!
The only problem with this nimble bird of prey was its elusiveness. -- It seems he (or she) did not enjoy being seen by anyone except me. -- This is why I called him the snuffa-luffa-gis (sp) owl... which makes me... of course... the big bird around these parts!
Can you see him (or her)?
A Game of Owl and Mouse:
This game of owl and mouse went on for nearly two weeks until my older son was indoctrinated into the ever-so-slowly-growing witnesses to the owl club. We were both downstairs at the optimal time. You see, our crafty little owl only decided to show his (or her) proud little mane at specific times of the day; and at specific time intervals.
Yes, this was one sneaky little owl.
It was good that I now had viewing company, though. As most of my family and friends, at least those privy to such honored information, had begun talking amongst themselves. And yes, my ears seemed to be constantly ringing...
And so the timing was right. Just as my son and I were about to leave the optimal viewing area (because one such owl could ONLY be spotted at this one spot... or so I thought) he (or she) poked his (or her) little face for the both of us to see.
It was a grand moment. I was NOT crazy after all. There really was an owl in our tree. And now there were two of us to attest to such reality. Wow! The pieces were all coming together.
After the initial oohs and ahhs subsided, my son and I turned to a few masculine fist pumps, high fives, and went about our business.
"Dad, will the owl be back tomorrow so that mom and SJ can see?" my son asked.
"Hopefully. As long as the light is hitting the tree from the precise angle at the right temperature with the proper intensity. And given that our friend the owl must be in his (or her) proper state of owl mind, we might, and I stress, we might see him (or her) tomorrow. And hopefully, just hopefully, we can add a couple of witnesses to our proud little club," I cautiously replied.
My son gave me a soft little smile and went upstairs.
An Owl Story Epilogue:
After a few more days of only the two of us enjoying our petite 'secret' friend, the little screech owl became more and more attached to his (or her) exterior views; allowing not only the rest of our family to see him (or her), but a few more family and friends as well.
All in all, our time with the-little-screech-owl-perched-within-the-locust was brief. He (or she) flew the tree after about 6-8 weeks. Yet, even though our time together was short, the memories of looking for, waiting for, wishing for, and eventually discovering our little owl friend as a family, will linger for many years.
And yes, I still consider myself the big bird around the house. At least for the rest of the week!