Tuesday, May 07, 2013

feels like summer...

9pm twilight walk, still in the mid-20s C. Summer has started way early this year. Plus, spotted my first owl of the season as we passed through the woods on the way back.

I keep rechecking the calendar date. Surely it can't be only the beginning of May. For days now the temps have been reaching into the high 20s (C), and the blue sky stretches unbroken to the mountains on either side. It feels like summer, well and truly, and there's little choice to make but to enjoy it fully, as one never knows when it will change again.

Last night, in the twilight, Ty and I slipped out the door for a walk. The streets were mostly quiet - a few folks digging in their gardens here and there, sprinklers watering lawns as we passed. We followed the path off the pavement and onto dirt under a fresh unfurled canopy of leaves. The songbirds were sounding their sunset chorus, with the occasional alarm noting our passage. The creek trickled quietly underneath us as we ambled over the bridge. Down at the beach, lilting voices carried across the water from a pair of kayakers gliding serenely in the bay. We paused for a breath, a quiet contemplation, and to enjoy the view.

Then we were back amongst the trees, following the winding path as the light continued to fade. I noted again the birds, those trumpeting out an alarm about this woman and her dog, and those singing in the night. But I was only half listening. And then I realized I should be listening fully, and embracing what the robins know and can share with me. I turned my comments and commands to Ty down to a whisper, and quieted my footfalls on the trail. We descended back to the creek, and stopped so he could have a drink of water beside the bridge. I thought for a moment I heard something splash out of the water as we approached, but then I doubted myself as I watched the tiniest waterfall gurgle repeatedly with the same sound.

Up ahead, the songbirds were alarming in a group, too far off to be a comment about us yet. I was pretty sure what that ruckus was for. As we got closer I started scanning amongst all the branches, trying to isolate the centre in growing darkness. There! A larger bird, adjusting its feathers high on a Douglas fir branch, just barely silhouetted against the forest background. Unmistakably an owl. I looked down for a moment and it was gone, but then found again on a tree on the other side of the creek. I smiled, and Ty stood there, oblivious to the action above his head. I had already been planning to return to the woods near our old house in the next few weeks, in hopes of re-acquainting myself with the barred owl pair from last year. But to know there is at least one owl in the wooded area near our new place makes me excited to do a bit more exploring here as well, perhaps earlier in the evening with big camera in hand. I'll keep you posted.

We climbed the stairs back out of the woods, pausing to note a deer crunching through the dead leaves on the other side of the creek. The heat was more noticeable back out on the street, free from the cooling effect of the forest canopy. We were both thinking about a drink and I kept the rest of the loop short. In the open park past the tennis courts two does watched us and Ty created a bit of a fuss in his apparent growing fascination for deer, much to my dismay. But soon enough we were back in our own driveway, and then he was fast asleep on the couch as we settled in for the night.


Netta said...

just took my coffee break reading your post, thanks for the breath of fresh air for a moment.

erin said...

beautiful writing, k. i enjoyed joining you on your forest walk, and seeing some owls in your new space would be exciting! i have to keep better watch ... i find the pellets all the time. isn't this weather amazing?! i only come in to eat and sleep :) xo