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Last night I heard an owl. I don’t know what kind it was. As a result The Muses (or someone like them) has planted in my pumpkin an itch to write about owls. I ran the idea by The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections who gave their usual reflexive reply it sounded like ‘box-office poison’ so I am going ahead with it as they are usually wrong about this sort of things. I think their disdain is based on their dislike for the birds.There are several owls up in the rafters of Heorot Johnsons II. TBDHSR complain about their messes as if they can discern owl droppings from the usual detritus about the place.  Spo

I’ve long  been fascinated by owls, no doubt the influence of fairy tales and Dungeons & Dragons games of sages and wizards with owls on their shoulders, and by spooky Hallowe’en decorations. Owls are mesmerizing; they fly noiselessly and can sense a mouse under the snow yards away. Their uncanny nocturnal abilities give them the reputation for being wise and mysterious. An acquaintance of mine who is of Southwest Native American heritage tells me an owl gives his people the willies for they act as a psychopomp, not unlike a Banshee in Irish folklore.

Spo-fans may recall once upon a time there were one or two great horned owls in my neighborhood. Harper and I would hear them hooting on our predawn dog walks. All owls go by the name Mrs. Oliver from the ‘Georgie the Ghost’ stories. It always made me happy to hear her hooting in the donzerly light. Alas, I haven’t heard her in several seasons and I sense she and her mate are gone and there are no owlets, worse luck.  I miss them.  I believe there is no lack of owls in Arizona – I’ve seen a few small ones when visiting Tucson – so I may make a pilgrimage to go see or at least hear some.  They seem to be calling to me from another world, telling me something if I would only stop to listen. I no longer remember what Mrs. Oliver was telling us on our walks. I need to hear some owls and listen well to their tales.

Are there any owls where you live? What sorts? What are they saying to you? 

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August 2022

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