Monday, March 19, 2012

Tawny Owl in a Beech tree...& Iching#53

            At the sorry age of eleven, I stole a Tawny Owl,
 from a Beech tree.  At the time I was confined to Hawkhurst Court Prep School. 

the school...

            A Gothic manse with Jerry-built huts to train Candian troops now dorms for twin rows of boys.  I snuck out with Crighton & Clark, somehow we found the great Beech tree - we were scared pissless the mother would find us & rip our faces off.  Mine pissed when I put it in my shirt – I shinned down the Beech, ran back to the dorm and put the wee Owl in my tuck box.  Taught it to hunt & fly, I caught hundreds of mice for it and had it one precious year – then I was sent to Canada & had to leave it behind in Norfolk with Aunt Maonie.
             Ever since I have had Owls around. 
            When we came here to this house under Crotched Mountain in 2001, the couple who lived here before told us a strange story, once we knew each other well.  They told how they found just the head of a Barred Owl in the upper meadow – eyes on the house.
            It took nine months, being led, to find this place under Crotched mountain: that was our familiar flying ahead, showing the way.

            Here is video of Barred Owl calling: who cooks for you

            And you don't need to know Japanese to love this Owl:

The way that Beech tree looked:

           I threw the Iching for this blog and came up with #53 Chien - it is about inner peace and outward penetration - it is about the slow build - it is about Geese mating for life: it certainly fits adversity and maintaining inner calm.

I Ching : 53. IChin / Development (Gradual Progress)

     Seen any wildlife?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bard Owl & Black Mink

         Sunday morning, 28*, a foot and a half of snow yesterday that has melted, frozen, and left a crust: no good for man or beast.  Crotched Mountain has its top playing hide and seek with the bands of white fog.

            I'm sitting on the sofa at 8am, trying to get wet logs in the stove to burn off the chill in the house.  I'm looking across the road to the mail-boxes and the rising field beyond with its sides of dense young trees.  I'm thinking about the unfairness of life, I'm flying with weak wings… Then I see the streak of black on white snow.  A Black Mink.  Its body flows over the snow and like another body behind – that tail!  Tail as big as the body.  Not in hurry, but moving fast and gone into the trees.  Two beats and I see the Owl swoop in low where the Black Mink vanished, then bank away to the south presenting under wings, belly and tail before shooting back over the tops of the trees.  Two more beats and I see our black & white year old cat Beo trotting back down the road with snow banks on either side and a car coming down: he hops over the bank and lands in the snow looking up.  He'd watched the whole thing.  He may be friends with the Black Mink, he may be friends with the Bard Owl.
            It could have been a Red Tailed Hawk, A Great Gray (yes, we have one about, Nanette and I have both seen it) or Who Cooks for You…  but I know it was Bard: I have two buried on the property and know them well.


            This blog will describe sightings of wild animals and the deep coincidence of those sightings.  The Romans and Greeks saw meaning in the sighting of wild animals: the Eagle with the snake writhing in its claws.  So what do Black Mink, Bard Owl and Beo mean?  Perhaps nothing, just a sighting… three at play; but context gives that sudden surprise of the wild, deep meaning.

            As I am compiling these sightings I am also consulting the Iching.  These sightings offer reflections on adversity.  Here is the first Hexagram I threw for this blog: #36.

                                                I Ching : 6. Sung / Conflict

            That gives #36, Darkening of the light.  To see all the 64 go to:
                                                I Ching Online - the Online Book of Changes

Here are some great wildlife photographers:

Wildlife Photography Blog - Craig Jones Wildlife Photographer

Sam Barker Photo

What wild life sightings have you had?  Send them in - pics welcome.