Have you ever been on an owl prowl?
I went Saturday, out into the woods in the dark of night, where I met with a park ranger, an owl expert and about 80 other crazy people.
We met at a pavilion with a warm fire roaring in the big stone fireplace. The experts told us about the owls we might hear in our area, how their eyes worked, their ears, why some feathers are different than others. We learned that they fly silently and that they can hear a mouse rustling a leaf on the forest floor.
I imagined owls sitting silently way up in tall trees secretly smirking as 80 humans moved as quietly as 80 humans can move below them. I didn’t imagine we’d hear or see anything.
We broke into two groups, about 40 each and went in different directions. We tried to walk quietly, but seriously, some people were wearing snow suit pants that made that irritating noise when they walked. Yes, it was cold, and I’m sure they were all comfy warm, but still. Plus we were walking on fallen oak leaves — oak leaves that crunched with each step.
Still I love being out in the woods at night, even with so many people around me. I didn’t even care that we never heard or saw an owl, I was enthralled with the black branches silhouetted against the sky filled with puffy clouds, a half moon and a few stars.
I wished I had my camera and tripod.
I didn’t and the images here were blindly shot with my phone, then lightened up a bit. Sort of artsy fartsy, in an attempt to get you to imagine what it’s like to stand under bare trees on a moonlit night staring up at the sky.
It’s pretty magical, I highly recommend it. Even if you don’t hear an owl.