Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8: Owl Dream

Last night I dreamed that I was lying in bed while great horned owls hooted loudly in the woods outside the house. It was one of those dreams that was so vivid I awoke wondering if I'd really been dreaming. Could my subconscious have perhaps picked up on real owls? My memory flashed back to summer nights when I had heard barred owls outside my parents' house right up the river, hooting in the wee hours in loud chorus with the loons.

Someone I know reported hearing four or five barred owls calling in one spot the other night. Barred owls are courting now, which makes them as restless and sociable as hormone-addled teenagers. While barred owls call year round, but right now they're particularly chatty. My friend Ron can imitate perfectly their common nocturnal query: "who cooks for you, who cooks for you all?" He's summoned a group of maybe half a dozen barred owls that called back and forth like a pack of monkeys in the jungle and got so worked up at this perceived invader that one flew right over our heads. They can make some crazy noises in the dark, noises that don't always sound owlish and aren't always soothing to awaken to.

Photo Credit: Hal Korber/PGC

Now that I've raked the leaves off my flower beds and have been paying attention to what's coming up each day, I notice on an almost daily basis the stone owl carving that sits amid my herbs. I've always been drawn to owls, and like to think of this one as a sort of guardian of the garden. My neighbor's little girl, who is such a fan of owls that she dressed up as one last Halloween, likes to come over and just look at it. When I woke up last night after my owl dream, I had this weird sensation that maybe the owl stone had come to life and was warning something away from the house.

Teens on street corners;
barred owls hooting like monkeys:
spring courting begins.

To hear them for yourself (the owls, not the teens), visit the Cornell Lab's barred owl page and scroll down below the photo to find the "Typical Voice" recording. But don't blame me if you have weird dreams!

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