Sunday, 11 December 2011

A visitor in the snow

originally posted to Multiply February 8 2010

I look out of the kitchen window, no glasses on, and notice this weird brown heap of a rag sitting on one of the outside chairs. "What the ?" Look again: could that be a bird? It was! I was honoured by a visit from a very sleepy little owl. 
It was asleep when I first came upon it but blinked awake. It looked right into my eyes during a leisurely photo shoot. 
Alas, in the excitement I left the door open. Minnie-puss came out to investigate, immediately headed for the bird, and it flew away. If only it were possible to train cats to eat rodents only! I thought it was a pygmy owl, but here is the reply from the local bird expert:
This is a Northern Saw-whet Owl.  Not uncommon in our area, but quite nocturnal so often goes unseen.  In March and April when they are breeding, you sometimes hear them at night.  They don't hoot like some owls, but instead their call is more like a whistle or perhaps a beep.  It is very repetitious and has been likened to a fork-lift in reverse - in reverse for a long time!  I have heard them beep perhaps 60 times in succession, over a span of about 30 seconds.
Otherwise it is SNOWY here. Not too cold, just tons of white stuff. Chris had to cry Uncle, or rather Neil, our friend with the bobcat. Machines have their place.
It takes a while before a side road like ours gets plowed. This is Subaru country for a reason.
How long can the trees bear this load? No wonder that little owl was looking for a drier place to sleep.
It is thigh-deep. This is more or less the kind of winter we got acclimated to when we first moved to the area. Though back then we had more cold spells, night time down to minus 20, day time around minus 10. (Celsius)
It will be a while before any gardening gets done around here. It is hard to believe that daughter has spied early cherry blossoms, and son took a picture of a dwarf iris. No wonder everyone wants to live in Vancouver. Meanwhile, I am so glad we have our sturdy snow roof over the place!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments have been set to anyone, un-moderated, and no captcha. So if you were here, wave to me? Spammers will be deleted and acquire bad karma to boot.