I have seen many things in the woods, but today I saw a first.
Actually, I saw two firsts.
Shortly upon entering the woods, I spotted the doe and two fawns that roam here. I walked slowly toward them when something on a fallen tree, just a few feet above the ground, caught my attention. A blue-grey animal of some sort. Or maybe an elf. (More soon.)
I got a little closer and the animal leapt into air and on broad, silent wing beats rose up into the tree tops. It was an owl.
I have seen owls several other times in the woods, but I never would have expected to see an owl perched so low to the ground. He was there though. Not certain what type of owl he was, but with my screech owl experience this year, I am going with a screech owl until I can consult my Sibley’s.
Yes, there is a lot to see in the woods. Until recently I frequently ran into a crazy guy with a bad haircut..and this time I wasn’t looking in a mirror, that only happens at home.
Crazy Man was friendly and he always talked too loudly. Usually he just asked the time, yelling with too much enthusiasm: ”Do you know what time it is?” I thought this to be very funny, as if he he any specific place he needed to be at any specific time anymore than I did. But I would look up the time of course and tell him. Then he and I would continue on our separate ways, smiling and I’m sure both thinking “as if it matters.”
I have also seen druids in the woods. They come out around dusk and primarily in the fall. Summers must be too hot for guys in horsehair habits and cloaks. Fall, on the other hand, just right. They stroll back of the trail in groups of three or four, sometimes more. I have never actually met one or seen one up close. I’m not sure what they do. I presume they build the little forts out of fallen branches and set up the colorful talismans I find from time to time. Can’t say for sure. It is a short season for them, though. Summer too hot, winter too cold.
Of course we know that the woods are inhabited by fairies, sprites, and snow elves in the winter anyway. Little glittery creatures that don’t mind the cold. They don’t leave many tracks either. Instead they float about like a snowflake captured in the wind.
I wonder where the druids go? Probably huddled up in some ruined castle out on the edge of some collective imagination. Avalon, perhaps. And they don’t come back in the spring. Too wet and muddy, I presume. Finding a suitable cleaner to handle medieval horsehair might be a challenge.
This brings me to my second first. I presume ghosts haunt the woods pretty much year around. After all isn’t part of a ghost’s gig to be tied to one place, tormented and confused? So imagine my excitement when I turned the corner and saw a puff of white soft light floating in the green! (My eyesight isn’t much better than my camera.)
There it was! A ghost! Which turned out to be a girl. Even better. In a tutu. Better still. Dancing! Perhaps I had died.
Alas, no…it was a girl in a ballerina costume having her picture taken in the woods. Happens all the time. In fact the woods and parks are infested by portrait photographers. They’re as thick as buckthorn and almost as invasive.
I did enjoy the girl though. I waited while they shot a set of photos, feeling quite inadequate with my simple camera phone. None of my pictures turned out very well. And when I got close to her, it didn’t feel right to snap off a few shots of my own.
She was an attractive young woman though. Very much worthy of the camera. Her legs in particular were quite something…should a man find those locked around his neck, his life would not be his to choose, that’s for sure.
So while I was disappointed that I had not seen a genuine ghost — or sprite, for that matter — this particular sighting didn’t all diminish the enchantment of the forest. Certainly not. I think more of us should dress in a white tutu and have some pictures taken in the woods.
- Screech Owl Mating (alittletourinyellow.wordpress.com)
- The Value of Enchantment (powerofslow.wordpress.com)
- Country Roads (adventuresofmona.com)