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Frey Vineyards

Katrina Frey
June 13, 2018 | Frey Winery Blog | Katrina Frey

Great Horned Owl in the Moonlight

May 31st   It was five AM, the night after the full moon.  Still brilliant, the moon was about to set in the west, just before dawn.

I was awakened with a blast of sound,  “Hoo, hoo, hoo dat” answered by a more distant “Hoo, hoo, hoo dat.”  Convinced that a huge owl was just outside our trailer, I crept out into the pearly landscape.  I stood in the meadow and got my bearings, then realized the owls must be at least 150 yards away in the burnt forest by the pond. The skeletal ponderosa pines still tower and the great horned owls were perched on them, calling back and forth.  These owls, also called cat owls because of their perky ears, are the apex predators, able to pounce on prey as large as rabbits, possums and porcupines.  I imagined that their hunting must be eased after the fire, with no needled or leafy branches to block their view.

The calling went on for another ten minutes and then I guessed they found their prey, then each other, and bedded down for the dawning day.

great horned owl


Nancy Simpson's Gravatar
Nancy Simpson
@ Jun 17, 2018 at 12:30 PM
Katrina, you are so brave to live in the aftermath of destruction. If the owls have survived, that means the varmints they eat have also survived somehow. It is the cycle of life returning. Thank you for this beautiful piece. Your long-lost cousin, Nancy

Michael Kopinski's Gravatar
Michael Kopinski
@ Sep 10, 2018 at 3:07 PM
I love the story and the delicate writing. But I am still disturbed by the descriptive adjectives “burnt” and “skeletal”. I long for the day when Katrina can write about the “lush” and “fragrant” woods. I also hope that the noun “trailer” can soon be replaced with “house”.

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