Thursday, June 14, 2012

the owls are speaking to me...

oh hello!

i see you

i ran through a lot of ideas when thinking of a forest creature to make for the second part of my collaboration with Abby, something to go along with her deer. nothing was quite working for me. i guess i needed the nature to find me, rather than the other way around.

see, i thought i was lucky when i spotted the owl on our weekend away. but just over a week later, i came home from work and knew i needed a walk, even as the rain began to quicken. it wasn't particularly cold though, and i liked the feel of the cool drops on my sandalled feet, my head tucked into my raincoat. before long i was in the woods a couple blocks from my home, away from the cars and other noises of the world. but not long into the trail, other noises caught my ear. the persistent chirp of robins, in fact, expressing their dismay about something. i knew what i was watching for immediately, having encountered the same kerfuffle on that other walk too. and there he was, perched in a tree just across a little creek.

this one was much less concerned with me than the other barred owl had been, spending most of its time focused on the forest floor below, or perhaps the water trickling past. i've formed the opinion that owls must be pretty zen, actually. if i had to listen to the incessant distress call of robins and other small birds all day long, i know i would go nuts. anyway, we spent a bit of time together, both of us ignoring the robins (one better than the other). i felt a little that maybe the owls were finding me, and not the other way around.

yesterday, i headed back into the same woods, A in tow, hoping perhaps we would find this fellow again. at first it seemed like we were out of luck, all the robins we heard seemed far too happy for any owls to be nearby. (i know, horrible me, wishing for the discomfort of robins). but then at a crossroads in the trail, i heard the telltale staccato. none of the trail options led that way, but the long trunk of a fallen fir tree stretched across the carpet of ferns and salal and we followed it in earnest. there, tucked high up in another fir was my owl. he seemed to be working on a nap (seriously, how do they ignore those robins???), so we didn't stay for long, but i was happy to know there is a new friend in the woods. if i see him again i may have to give him a name.

but if you've made your way through this long ramble, you're probably wondering what the point is, exactly. it occurred to me the owls were making my decision obvious, making their point clear with those dark, liquidy eyes. a winged strix is the perfect companion to a well-antlered stag, don't you think?

stay tuned - the beast is well in progress. how is your week going?


leFiligree said...

nature always pulls through for you--so glad you were inspired. i cant wait to see an owl by your hand.

this wee for me has lots of changes and waiting. which just means i have to do a lot to keep my mind off "things".

rebecca said...

looking forward to seeing this creature. glad they were persistent enough to let you know what you needed to do! ;)

Heather M. said...

I'm so glad you found your inspiration. I've been birding for most of my life (over 30 years) and you've seen more owls than I have. Looking forward to seeing him.

Maggie said...

I cannot wait to see what you create from this latest inspiration! It seems like an owl would lend itself to your style so well. They are such powerful creatures.

kate said...

Your comment about the zen and the incessant chatter of the robins made me immediately think of the old owl in Beatrix Potter's Squirrel Nutkin.

I'm quite jealous of your owl sightings you know.

terri said...

an owl would be awesome

oh, albatross said...

i was just going to suggest a pine marten for your forest creature... then i saw the photos of the owl in your flickr stream and thought that might be even better. can't wait to see the results, you do such beautiful work.