Where do we go from here?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Twilight Owls

Lisa's comment on my last post, about not seeing a single "wild" owl this year made me remember a wonderful experience Gail and I had last fall in Alamosa, CO.  We were staying in a campground just across from the Alamosa NWR, and on our last evening there decided to take one last walk in the Refuge.  It was later than made sense to head out into an area where we hadn't walked before, but the trail called us ever on.  We were walking along one side of a drainage ditch, in the gathering twilight, when we started hearing a great horned owl calling somewhere ahead of us.  There was one tall tree further up the bank, and we headed towards it.  As we got closer we could tell that the call was coming from somewhere in that tree, and as we drew even closer, I finally saw the bird out towards the end of an almost bare high limb. It moved its head every time it made its call, otherwise it was perfectly still.  We stood and watched for a while, but the approaching darkness turned us around to head back.  As we started back along the trail, we heard another great horned called from the opposite direction than the one we had first seen.  We stood still to listen, and had the amazing privilege of hearing what I can only call a conversation between the two birds. The calls were coming from both directions, and each bird would answer the other.  We kept scanning the trees across the ditch as we headed out, but never managed to see the second bird.  It was too dark, and the trees where the call came from were too thick 

If I were Mary Oliver I could have captured that heart-stopping moment of awe and wonder, that experience of great gift, in a poem - but there is only one Mary Oliver, and she was not there with us. I have tried writing my own poem about it, and will perhaps continue to work with it.  It was really beyond words for me, however, it was spirit in its purest form.

1 comment:

Lisa :-] said...

That was exactly how I felt when all those geese rose up and flew around me back on New Years Eve on Sauvie Island. Some moments are just poetry in themselves and defy words or description.

I REALLY need to see an owl, now...