Sunday, October 5, 2008

What the owl said

I was in the park early yesterday, well before dawn. It was chilly, and not much was stirring. I was trudging along in the quiet darkness, keeping an eye out for wandering skunks, when I heard the ululation of a screech owl close by. It's such an exquisite sound, I can't help wondering about the mind of the creature who makes it. Owl calls are so complex and varied, even to our ears, that they must be expressive of the individual bird. Whatever he feels in that moment--hungry, happy, frightened, content--he's surely conveying it with his voice, displaying a consciousness as powerful and unique as any human's.

My response when I heard him was a brief, distinctive pang of joy, the fleeting transcendence that draws me to the woods. I never find it anywhere else.

2 comments:

whodat said...

Gorgeous post, here and at 'Notes. Junie hunkered down and her ears went round and round like satellites when I played the owl calls.

Lucy said...

The owl looks like it has a little snow on. Wonderful photo. I think my animal alter ego is an owl.