Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wise old owl.

A neighbor called me this afternoon. Excitedly he said, "There's an owl in my front tree." Grabbing a camera, I rushed next door.

After finding a brown lump on a branch in the area where my neighbor was pointing, I decided I must be looking at the owl. I started "Hoo - hooing!" to get his attention.

I got the impression this really annoyed the owl who appeared to be trying to get some rest. That's because he looked down at us briefly with what I interpreted as disgust at my feeble attempt to communicate.

I was never able to capture his icy glare. But here's what I did get.

photo by Dada

Mrs. Dada ID'ed it as a barn owl. We sent the picture to a friend who confirmed it was indeed a barn owl. He told us it's called a "schleiereule" in German. (Having then gone to audio German dictionary, I'm afraid I'll have to stick to the English "barn owl.")

But he also told me there's an old European saying, "When you hear the owl, and have a penny in your pocket you will always be rich!"

Sadly, the owl wasn't speaking this afternoon. But that's okay, even if he had, I didn't have a damn penny on me either!

***

6 comments:

D.K. Raed said...

This is so exciting! Bet you won't have any pesky mice for awhile. You'll have to look for those whatchamacallits, those furballs that owls leave behind of undigestible bits.

We had lots of owls in San Diego. My fave was a great grey owl that loved to scare the sh*t out of me at night. He/she had staked out the gable end of our home. When I took the dogs out for last call, he would silently fly away, then come swooping back around to check what we were doing, sneaking up behind me, making NO NOISE, suddenly appearing, flying so close overhead, I swear my hair would blow around in his wake. They are really silent flyers!

We only saw them at dusk or night, never in the daytime. You were interrupting his nap, no wonder he was grumpy.

D.K. Raed said...

ps, your owl got me thinking, isn't this the type of owl on those old cigar ads? I think they were Muriel Cigars? You know, the real sexy ones with the tag line, "why don't you pick one up & smoke it sometime"? oh, I probably have it all messed up, but that's the way I remember it.

dada said...

d.k. Before we had the two enormous pine trees removed from the backyard in 12/06, they were frequented by an occasional owl or two. The "hoo-hoos" could be heard loud and clear in the house, often in the early morning hours while sitting at the computer.

But they were different owls than the barn owl seen yesterday. (Sorry, I don't recall which offhand.)

However, there would be many regurgitations in the backyard. (Interesting synchronicity, Mrs. Dada forwarded the owl picture to a fellow teacher and they were covering owls in the classroom this week and actually dissecting those particular "leftovers" from rodents, etc. eaten.)

I know of what you speak -- re the occasional near "fly-by" of an owl, only here I'm sensing bats doing that! Either way, a little unsettling to say the least.

Re this particular barn owl, I think you're right -- because I thought of Muriel cigars when I "developed" this "film"...funny, it never made me more inclined to smoke 'em.

dada said...

D.K. I was reading down the comments of your very nice mom/hummingbird blog, enjoying them, intending to comment -- until I came to the last one; I lost my inspiration for the moment. Perhaps tomorrow.

Nice blog, however.

Fran said...

Thanks for sharing your two cents on this story. I''s cool to have a rare critter visit your neighborhood.

Remain vigilent. Report any suspicious activity.
This one looks like it is at Homeland Security level ZZZZZZZZ as in snooze.

Pretty bird!

enigma4ever said...

very beautiful...