20 July 2009

Ah, Sibley

Tal and I were roused from sound sleep at 4:15 this morning by Whitby and Belle, highly disturbed as they were by something outside the bedroom window. And, what sleeping weather it had been, the AC off and the windows open. So often good (cool night offering great sleeping) and bad (wakeful dogs able to see and/or hear what was going on outside in the middle of the night) are the same thing ...

I let the dogs out to scare off whatever had been out there (the barking pretty much took care of things long before I managed to get the back door open, I suspect; after all the windows were open) and then went to the porch to whistle them up. While I was out there, what a sound I heard in the distance. I just stood, rooted to the carpet.

It was an owl, but not the normal call we hear so frequently close to the house. I'm used to that, the barred owl and its sharp, insistent hooting. This was gentler, decidedly different. Sleepy as I was, though, I went back to bed once the dogs were inside.

At breakfast, however, back out on the porch, I remembered and went after the Sibley while my cereal began to sog. Unlike the other bird books on the shelf in the sun room, the Sibley describes the call and I was pretty sure I would have no trouble "re-hearing" that lovely sound as my eyes read the words.

What I heard early this morning was the great horned owl, its muffled hooting still perking me up pretty far into the day.

Thank you, David Allen Sibley. AND, thank you, Mom and Dad, for the 2007 birthday gift!

No comments: