Last night the waxing gibbous moon, close to full, eerily lit the street. Profiles of the trees were black silhouettes against the whitish fog. I had gone outside to grab something from my car and was shocked to stillness by the deep hooting calls of owls.
There were at least two. One was a lower hu-hu-hu-hu-hoo! hoo!, the other a higher pitched version with fewer hus. They were close, but I couldn’t tell where.
I ran inside and called for Jen. We grabbed the binoculars and returned to the garage. The owls were unperturbed by the commotion.
I started walking down the street towards the sound and a great winged profile took off from the woods. It flew down the street a few hundred yards and perched atop the post for a power line. It had two tall ears and an impressive form: a great horned owl. His mate was a few trees away.
They were lit by the moon only enough that I could make out their form and the triangle of whiteness under their necks. I mistakenly startled them again, but they conveniently flew back to the house, sitting in a dead tree across the street. They sat there for as long as we watched. Hooting every few moments to fill the quiet.
I love that at age 34 I’m able to witness something so new and unexpected from nature. And I’m confident that the only reason I haven’t noticed a night owl yet, is I never stopped to look. How many more exciting discoveries await!