Friday, November 28, 2014

'Tis the season...

The Christmas season has officially started since Santa landed in New York city at the end of yesterday's Macy's parade. (Don't forget to watch Miracle on 34th Street when it's on.) Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I hope so. Although the daughter person and her newly-acquired husband are off braving Black Friday madness, much of today around here was spent watching an ungrateful bluejay, two woodpeckers and a gray squirrel that were unwilling to share quarrel about access to the suet and sunflower feeder. Meanwhile, the other birds kept sneaking sunflower snacks.

birds at feeder and suet
birds at feeder and suet
Photo by J. Harrington

The quarrelsome foursome disappeared from the feeders for awhile when one of the local barred owls perched in the oaks on the north side of the house. S/he stayed around long enough to let my camera, which I had foolishly left overnight in the car in an unheated garage, warm up. I got a few decent shots like the one below.

barred owl in oak
barred owl in oak
Photo by J. Harrington

Soon we'll be off to the Taylors Falls Christmas festival. Someone in the family (not me) wants to try their first taste of booya. I want to see if I can finally catch some of the season's joyful spirit to take the place of my grumping about premature cold and snow. With luck, I may even get a decent photo or two to share.

A Barred Owl

By Richard Wilbur 
The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.


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