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night traveler

he mocks me
Most nights hubby and I go for a walk with our dog, Isabella.  With us having been at work all day, it’s important for her to have some exercise – us too.  

The walk is in the dark and where we live there’s a definite lack of street lights.

Across the road there lives a park with a nice path around a small lake.  Geese, deer, assorted birds and tons of frogs have begun to call this newly developed area home.  We saw three good sized bucks come down to water, the velvet still clinging to their horns.  A gaggle of geese created quite a commotion one quiet evening when they landed in the dark.  As quickly as it was loud, it became noiseless when they settled upon the water.

Another evening the path was littered with frogs not much bigger than your thumbnail.  Belle was her usual nosey self, sniffing them.  When one hopped, she jumped straight up like a scared rabbit.  Sheesh dog!  Some kind of protector you are. 

Deer, frogs and geese are pretty nifty, but not nearly as sweet as what happened next…

Coming to the far end of the lake, we could hear a screech from some sort of raptor.  We thought probably a night hawk or falcon (ah, I coulda had a falcon) but there, sitting under one of the lampposts near an outbuilding was an owl.  He was big and husky and definitely voicing his opinion. 

I couldn't believe he was just sitting there with the light shining down on him.  Aren’t they nocturnal, let’s-go-flying-in-the-dark-to-find-small-rodents birds?  What was up with that?  Was he was injured; should we call Fish and Wild Life?

My fearless darling took Bella and I slowly walked toward the owl.  I got a little closer and stopped, my heart beating faster.  What if he took after me?  I turned to Lonny for some moral support, maybe even protection, after all he and the dog were a safe distance away. 

“How close should I get?”  He indicated I should keep going.  Really?  I took another few steps, not wanting to be prey.  Owl, Esq.  let me get as close as his comfort level could handle, his large wings came up and with a deep swoop he was off into the night.  We haven’t seen him again, but we hear his barn owl voice echoing in the dark and a silent swoop overhead.  

captured on a plate
night traveler 

bitter dark
a fine mist hanging over the lake, water ripped by an unemotional wind
a sound came at regular intervals eerie and strange
stars shining and shooting streaks across the blackness
did nothing to illuminate the disturbing noise
breathtaking wind cut to the bone 
icy fingers whipping the face, and leaves left clinging to barren branches 
limbs creaking and mocking as the raptor sang its devouring refrain
night music chortling a low noise
lone geese on flight and wild canines howling unseen in the night
streetlamps about the pond casting faded light on the path
unexpectedly, under a bare bulb, his form took shape
wide eyes staring, seeing more than I
round head turning side to side, emitting the screeching sounds
chilling, disconcerting, alarming
one step and  another
night traveler takes flight on wide melodramatic wing flaps
leaving only a shadow in his path


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  1. Wow! Sounds like you live in a really beautiful and natural area. I had to look up up the owl. Here's what I found. Many Native American cultures viewed the owl as a totem animal representing wisdom and prophecy. They believed that those who saw owls should take the sightings as a sign to stand back from everyday life and turn inward for wisdom found through being quiet and listening to a person's inner voice. They also considered owl sightings to be signs that release aspects of life, including attitudes, that no longer serve a person.
    Owls don't sit for everyone. You were so lucky to get so close. I enjoyed reading this.

    1. Oh, thanks for the back story from Native American culture. I feel humbled and privileged; and I think I need to spend some time listening.

  2. this is such a story derived from just listening to the sounds and sights around your neighborhood. It is amazing..Boo

    1. Yes, it sure is. Were you aware of the Native American culture aspect that Marlene shared?


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