Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Get outta here!

Peyton, our seventh-grade neighbor, dropped by yesterday when he saw me and James in the Meadow. I was taking photos of caterpillars and an odd mealybug that I'd spotted on a silverleaf nightshade (a future post). Peyton shared about a camping experience he'd had with friends in his back yard recently and mentioned a "tree" that grew there. James wanted to find out what kind it was so the two set off to see it. I stayed behind.

Next thing, I know, someone's pounding at our front door! Oh, my, had James gotten hurt??! I rushed to the door and threw it open.

"MISS SHERYL, MISS SHERYL, GET YOUR CAMERA!" Peyton exclaimed, breathless and obviously very excited. "THERE'S AN OWL IN OUR BACK YARD!"


With camera in hand, I walked fast (hey, I've been a little sick so I wasn't up for running) to Peyton's back yard. Sure enough, there sat a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) atop a utility pole! Mad bluejays were squawking in trees and flying at the big bird. That's what had initially caught James' attention. Such commotion (a bird behavior called "mobbing") usually indicates that a snake's around. This time, it was an owl. 

Also, this time I noted that we saw only bigger birds--bluejays, mockingbirds and woodpeckers. The smaller birds didn't join the ruckus like they normally do when a snake's involved. 

I caught several photos of jays dive-bombing the owl. When we finally decided to leave, the owl still sat serenely on the pole.  

James and I weren't surprised to see it. A few months ago, we heard owls hooting in our trees. Then a week or so ago, a neighbor down the street, Trisha, told me that she's heard some, too. It was really cool to finally meet one in person! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh Sheryl! What a "hoot" to get to see him/her!! Do you think he/she was migrating through, or is nesting around here?? Thanks also for the Cornell link. I played the soundbite several times, and my cats took notice!

Regarding the posts on your Meadow grasses and sedges: Very useful and informative! The photos enabled me to give botanical names to several grasslike plants on my plot.

Hope you're feeling much better! Thanks so much for all the wonderful info and photos!


Post a Comment