Monday, March 31, 2008

Another offering from my husband

In previous posts, I've mentioned that my husband often brings me back things he finds on his walks in the woods. A couple of years ago, he brought back this lovely accoutrement for our shed. It's really a big hit in our neighborhood, and everyone wants one, but I sometimes wonder what our visiting deer friends think.
Actually, my husband hasn't brought me anything for well over a month now, but he did bring back a story today that he's just finished telling me.
I thought you'd find it interesting, too.
There are lots of trails that lead to different places nearby our home. One particular trail will take you to what we've always called our sitting spot. There's a big downed pine tree to sit on and directly behind it, there's a tree, so when you sit on the pine, your back's at a perfect angle and it's quite a nice spot to view the marsh it faces.
Today my husband decided to take the trail to the sitting spot. And because it's his day off, he took a beer with him. He told me that when he finally got there, he got comfortable on the log and then opened his beer with his pocketknife. He took a sip and said it was really good. George had gone off for some exploring and as my husband sat there, he said it was so quiet and peaceful and all he could hear were the birds. It was a good day.
Then he heard a whoosh above him. And when he looked up, he saw that an owl had landed in the tree next to him, about 10 feet away. He wasn't sure what sort of owl it was, but he said it looked really happy. Like it had a happy face. At this point, I asked him if he'd taken one of my pain pills, but he says he didn't.
It was a big gray owl and it had no ears, he said. The owl was looking straight ahead and then turned its head completely to the side and looked directly at my husband with its black eyes. They stared at each other. My husband says that he smiled at the owl and then took another sip of his beer. The owl continued to stare at him. For several minutes, they sat in silence. Just looking at each other. And smiling. And then there was a slight noise from afar, and they both turned to look. It was George returning.
The owl and my husband looked back at each other. The owl kept looking towards where George was coming from and finally, he took off and landed in some trees across the marsh.
He wasn't sure exactly what kind of owl he'd just spent time with, so when he came home and told me this story, my husband got out the bird books. See how exciting it is at my house?
The best pictures were found in our Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds. They have real photographs in this one, and my husband found exactly what he was looking for.
A barred owl is a large and stocky owl, gray-brown with cross-barring on the neck and breast and streaks on the belly. No ear tufts. They're 20-inches in length and they live in low, wet woods and swamp forest.
The book goes on to say that this owl is seen only by those who seek it out in its dark retreat, usually a thick grove of trees in lowland forest. There it rests quietly during the day, coming out at night to feed on rodents, birds, frogs, and crayfish. If distubred, it will fly easily from one grove of trees to another.
My husband wasn't really looking for anything today, other than a quiet place to sit. And I guess he and the owl just happened to be looking for the same thing at the same time.
I enjoyed this little story he told me. So you see, he actually did bring me something home today.
Chouette rayee/Barred Owl, courtesy of Meantux,


Leslie: said...

Kate! This is an amazing story! It's actually too bad George came back - I'm wondering how long the owl would have stayed. Sometimes the best things happen when you least expect them.

Speaking of which, pop over and claim your award on my site. :D

brneyedgal967 said...

OMG - that's what my owl is! I looked it up also after I had posted a picture of it on my blog and it's a barred owl. They're beautiful.

I guess I shouldn't call it "my owl" because you know, it's not really mine. But it lives in the caged tree and I can find it there daily. However, one morning when I was walking some trails I was startled to see it in another section of the woods about 5 feet from me and just a little bit obove my head. He was so close. We just looked at each other. Kind of like how your husband described it.

They do seem friendly. Cautious, but friendly. And then a friend of mine tried to ruin the good owl vibes I was getting by telling me that Indian's believe that an owl crossing your path is an omen that someone close to you will die. So you guessed it, I googled "owl indian folklore" and the indian's are varied - some see it as a sign of wisdom, some as a spirit, some as a consultant, some as a guardian, some as a soul stealer.

So I'll just stick with it's a friendly owl, like your hubby says.


Aunt Jo said...

What a neat experience!

Country Girl said...

I did look up owls and indian folklore and have decided that this owl bore no ill omen. My husband says he felt good in its presence and that the owl made him smile and feel happy. And what a cheerful face he has. They enjoyed each others company for a brief moment in time and it was a good story to tell.

~ C.G.

Treasia Stepp said...

Beautiful story and glad you shared it with us. Maybe next time let hubby take the camera?

Mary said...

Wow, how lucky your husband is! I have some big birds on my blog this morning, but I would rather have seen an owl. :) Great story!

Stacy said...

How cool is that?! I think I've only seen two owls in the wild and those were a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

okay, this wasn't a thing your husband brought you, but it was a cool, cool story. I love owls. I have one that hangs out in the woods behind my house. When I'm really lucky, he flies in close enough for me to see him. Still haven't gotten a good photo of his though.

brneyedgal967 said...

Head on over to my blog - I have something for you!

Anonymous said...

Meg suggested that I come see your place and I am so glad I did! What amazing photos! You seem to have a little serene piece of the American pie and it is beautiful! I'll be back nice to get to know you a bit!

Mental P Mama said...

I love owls...hope you're feeling better.

Jeannelle said...

Hmm.....I read this last evening, and just had to come back and comment. Just alot of meaningful stuff in this story....don't you think!?

Sometimes the best things happen when we're not seeking anything to happen, as with this experience your husband had. Although, I guess he was seeking a "quiet place to sit".

Has he reached that "quiet place" in his life? And therein also resides wisdom, which the owl signifies. And he can share that wisdom with others. I think he had a very special experience!

Meg said...

GREAT story sweetie, I love that owl! They are the coolest animals!

Hope you are feeling better, hugs!