Thursday, October 13, 2011

On Any Day

you can be amazed. If you just look. Monday The Owl, today The Juggler. In the hardware store parking lot.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I thought owls were nocturnal creatures, yet there she is at 9:03 a.m., two hours past daylight, perched on her third branch since I spotted her at about 7:30.
Shorty has already been terrified by and in turn terrorized a wood rat on the side path — much growling and squealing and tossing of body into the air; the telephone repairman has come and gone, both of us shaking our heads in agreement that the placement of the switch box or whatever it is near the main road was unique in its stupidity lo those 26 years ago. Someone, probably driving a horse trailer, has destroyed it again.
I have had my morning oblations and my morning hot cereal; photographed her on her first perch multiple times and re-discovered how a cheap, three-year-old Kodak compensates for low light. None of the photographs are in focus, betraying either an embarrassingly unsteady hand or a really, really slow shutter.
She has groomed her tail and her wings multiple times, cleaned her claws and waited.
The air around her is as alive as any anthill. She ignores the army of small birds as they flit from trunk to limb to air, light as knats.
Her great head swivels and tilts, though, when it is a big blue jay with his punk hairdo landed on a swaying branch an arm's reach away.
She knows he has seen her, though her markings mimic the very bark of the tree she sits in, the curve of her folded wings looks like just any other cedar bough to a jay.  He seems mezmerized. But he is so fast, she is so heavy.
I believe she is waiting for one of the fat rabbits who come to eat grass and clover from the lawn between my window and her branch. They could come at any time, they are that stupid. She would drop like a stone before a rabbit even noticed a change in the air. Rabbits freeze and blend in. This owl sees them the way an x-ray sees cancer.
Less lucky, but still worth it would be one of the three noisily psychotic little red squirrels that worry my squirrel-proof feeder on an almost hourly basis. Where are they? I haven't seen or heard one this morning. Sometimes they are enough to force my windows closed in summer.
Well, they know she's here. That's it. They've seen her shadow as they cross the roof, easy targets. Or they've seen her take something. They know where to check for her, like I know now.
She's been here before, I bet.
And she'll come again.