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Posts Tagged ‘owl’

Empty Nesting

We are back from having moved enough furniture and belongings to fill a 16 ft. truck and two Saturn Ions from our home to Jenna’s and Jen’s new apartment in Lubbock, followed by a couple of days unpacking and getting them settled in. A few days after our return, we saw Ali off at the airport so that she could meet Matthew in California for their three-year dating anniversary. This week is just a short, empty-nesting preview, but the real thing will be coming all too soon.

Although it’s a slow time of the year for selling real estate, we’ve had enough interest in the house to keep us paranoid about leaving daily messes. We thought we had a young family showing interest in the house toward evening yesterday when we spied a couple and three children examining our creek. They left and then returned with others collecting under the trees on our creek-front property for thirty minutes or more. Over the years, we’ve had several mistake it for public property and we eventually concluded that it was probably a church group. We made our presence known by taking the dog out and getting the mail, but they still seemed clueless that they were trespassing. We saw no harm in what they were doing so we didn’t tell them or ask them to leave.

My typical summer morning routine takes about an hour with pets, tidying, and some yard work — and then there’s too little to do the rest of the day. Earlier this week I got another glance at one of our creek owls gliding over my head as I was watering. I awoke this morning and immediately took Phoebe outside, as I normally do. We’ve had some rain lately so instead of grabbing the hose to start watering potted plants, I sat in a lawn chair to enjoy the cooler morning for a few minutes. I looked across the pool and spotted a familiar face cautiously peering back at me. Butterball? What was he doing outside? Happy to see me, he came running as soon as I called and I put him inside, but I soon realized that Sox was also missing. I dressed and began looking for him, first in the house, and then outside. Finally, Steve awoke and began looking too. He’d gone to bed late and they must have escaped when he let Phoebe out one last time before he went to bed. They’re inside cats and don’t usually even try to go outdoors. We had just about given up finding him when suddenly I saw Sox timidly sitting in just about the same place that I’d seen Butterball earlier. I sat on the diving board, wiggled my fingers and coaxed him to me. About that time, I spied a probable victim floating lifelessly in the pool — a good sized rodent the cats had probably chased to its demise. They may have had an adventure, but both were glad to be back inside.

With all that done, this is the time of morning I usually start hearing footsteps bounding down the stairs — but strangely, it’s very, very quiet.

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Night Owls

I’m up late working on a digital scrapbook project that’s bringing out my OCP(D?), as I keep finding things to fix that probably no one else would notice, but they must be fixed! At about 3:15am, Chief decided it was time for one more trip outside before we called it a night. Our owl was back, barking “hello,” and Chief woofed back a couple of times, alerting the neighborhood before I could get him back inside the house.

Now that I’m finally satisfied with my project, I’m too hungry to go to sleep. After careful rationing of my soft bread this week, I find it’s gone and I’m at a total loss.

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Whoo Goes There?

I awoke this morning at the crack of dawn — literally. Of course, our “granddogs” want fed and out as soon as I stir, but when Chief ran out the door I heard a great flapping noise. He stopped suddenly beside the pool, postured in a defensive stance, and started to bark. When Sarge followed, he too stayed close to the house, but seemed content to act as a back up and let Chief take charge. With barely any light, I couldn’t see anything. Still not sure what I had heard, there was suddenly a new noise that closely resembled the barking of a wild dog, but was more rhythmic and repetitive like a bird call. What did we have in the yard? A coyote? An owl? Is that what originally woke me? Our lazy Phoebe wasn’t ready to get up and protect me I guess. She slept through the whole thing.

I decided it must have been an owl since the original noise sounded more like fluttering or flapping than anything else and there was a distinctive pattern to its bark-like call. I Googled “owl sounds like a dog” to find that some owls do indeed sound like a dog, and there were even several recordings made of barred owls heard in Texas, and of great horned owls, which are also found in Texas.

Living where we do, we often hear the typical hooting of owls nearby and it’s not my first encounter with an owl in the yard. (No, I don’t mean our fake one to keep birds out of one of our front trees.) Years ago when I was out doing some early morning gardening by our wooded creek, a huge owl swooped almost silently over my head, flying from one tall tree to its hollowed out nesting place in another. It was more the shadow it cast as it flew overhead than the noise that alerted me, but I was impressed with its enormous wingspan, and pleased to discover its secret home.

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