Sunday, December 09, 2007

Super Owl

In my teens I lived in a semi rural area. During the day I saw Cactus Wrens, Roadrunners, California Thrashers and House Finches. At night, I heard owls. I knew they were Great Horned Owls, thanks to a bird song identification record. Great Horned Owls went "WhoWhoWho, Whoo, Whoo."
One night I had an idea. I put the owl hoots from the record on an endless loop tape. I propped the tape player against the window screen, cranked the volume and pressed "play".
Would it lure any owls?
I darkened the room and waited. I thought I heard another owl, but I wasn't sure. I crept up to the window to peek...
I froze. An enormous owl silhouette rose from the balcony railing. He was huge. I'd expected a cat sized bird. This guy was as big as a wolf: over two feet high! It was Super Owl! And just a few feet away!
I wanted to "keep" him longer, but I turned off the tape. Maybe he was lonely, I thought, When he heard the tape and thought he'd found someone special. It would be mean to have him bond with an owl that wasn't really there!
I put the recorder away. When I came back, he was gone.
I wonder if that was dangerous. He could have easily ripped through the screen (and me). What if Super Owl thought I was interfering with his dream date?


Sally said...

wonderful story. I've rescued owls twice- once a great horned in Colorado that had gotten caught in kite string: I went back to the house to get gloves before proceeding. The other wasn't so much a rescue as an observance. A sawhet owl (as cute as they come) flew into our window at night and was stunned for awhile, so we got to observe him close up. Then it was gone. It's such a thrill to see an owl, but your story was scary to read, I mean I could just imagine the feeling of "what have I done now!"

Linda said...

Namowal, this IS a great story. I wish someone like you had lived across the street from me growing up. How do you do your drawings? This one and your strip. I need to back up ... I know you've told about that.

p.s. When you get time, come back over to my blog and elaborate about the gradients.

Namowal said...

That's cool that you've rescued not one but owls, Sally. I'm glad you put gloves on before handling the great horned one.
Ever heard of a book called One Man's Owl? It's the true story of someone who rescued and raised a great horned owl. It got into all sorts of mischief in his home, and eventually returned to the wild.
Thanks, (and thanks for asking) Linda.
Most of my drawings are done on a tablet P.C. with Corel Painter. I usually start with a crude sketch and refine it on another layer. Mostly I use the ink pen, but will use the airbrush pen for light and shadow effects.