Once in the forgotten past, someone must have declared with convincing authority, that owls are silent in the winter. Ever since I have had it fixed in my mind that this is true.
But I am convinced I heard an owl last night, in fact I did indeed hear an owl. Whether it was a real owl outside my window or something else passing through the night or my dreams, that could be debated. But not the owl. I heard one.
And I quickly fell back to sleep.
I fell back into dreams of summer and lakes because owls don’t call in the winter and when I dream, my dreams almost always occur near lakes, rivers, or an ocean. Almost every time. (Did you know there are big lakes and oceans in Arizona? I dream about Arizona a lot, too.)
So convincing were my dreams that when I woke up this morning I was confused. First by the mess in my bedroom (how did that happen?) and then by another sound. No owl this time, but instead the telltale sound of deep cold, the sound of snow loudly crunching under a walker’s winter boots.
I had to take a look and sure enough…winter. I love winter so I wasn’t overly disappointed, but maybe just a little. Winter is beautiful. It is that svelte season with curves in all the right places. Crisp, clean, and clear, winter reminds me of white sheets and clean glass. Unless you’re driving down a freeway. And I don’t like freeways much so I only drive on them when necessary. Damage to the aesthete minimized, mercifully.
But back to winter. Or back to owls. Who out there doesn’t like owls? And who really doesn’t like winter…I mean *really* doesn’t like winter? Only the poor saps who have never experienced winter, that is my guess.
Think that over.
I hear a crow in the back yard. A true winter bird, black like ink on a grey November sky. Sometimes a crow’s call is the only sound you’ll hear on a winter afternoon. This makes the crow’s call something beautiful. There’s something confident about it. Not a bad sound at all.
- Snowy owls invade NY, other states in historic numbers (northcountrypublicradio.org)
- Ghosts from the Arctic (vtecostudies.wordpress.com)
- Unusually large number of Arctic snowy owls spotted in northern U.S. (ctvnews.ca)