For the past two mornings I have been woken by the call of a pair of Great Horned Owls. Yesterday they were very close, I'm betting the tree at the end of the driveway, and they woke me up before four am. They tend to be more vocal around the full moon anyway, and these two were calling back and forth for about an hour. I didn't mind. Eventaully I fell back asleep listening to them with a smile on my face.
Now somebody is probably ready to ask how am I sure that's what species of owl they are. Well these owl have lived in my neighborhood for years, and I have seen them at night sitting at the top of the neighbor's large spruce. That silhouette is hard to mistake. They look like a big winged cat sitting up there in the trees. Plus you can identify them by they distinctive 5 note call. If you want to hear what they sound like click on this link. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Horned_Owl/sounds
Yesterday while I was Yule shopping I found some adorable owl ornaments. These were natural looking and kinda "furry", but they looked great --a sort of really miniature horned owl. I snagged one for our four foot nature theme tree that is in the family room.
This morning I was treated to another horned owl serenade at around 4:30 am. This time they called back and forth for around a half hour. I live in the suburbs west of the St. Louis area. The homes in my neighborhood range from well over150 to 60 years old, so the trees are large and well established. It is not unusual to see racoons, possums and the occasional fox. We also have falcons and red tail hawks in the neighborhood as well. Occasionally we see a bald eagle as we are not too far from the Missouri river. But the horned owl are a special nighttime treat.
Traditionally an owl is a symbol of clairvoyance, wisdom, magick and of course the mystery of the night. A classic symbol of the moon and witchcraft. The owl is associated with the goddesses Athena, Lilith and Lakshmi. According to Ted Andrew's book "Animal Speak", "One who works with owl medicine will be able to see and hear what others try to hide."
Take a careful look (and listen) at the wildlife in your own neighborhood, I bet you are in for some surprises.