Nature, photography & France

The night owl

Owl in flight
Image courtesy of Pinterest

The owl came to me the other night.  And I don’t mean in a dream.  Literally.  Woken from restless sleep by the sound of talons skittering across wooden floorboards, the owl landed unceremoniously on the bathroom floor after flying through the open window.  It was so hot, the air so close, that I had left the window wide open for ventilation.

Instinct told me it was one of the barn owls.  We have a family living in the unused chimney in the kitchen.  Owl mess drops down into the fireplace every afternoon.  They are regular in their habits, the owls.  Evidence of their nightly feeding appears on the kitchen floor each morning in the form of dead mice and shrews, the chicks obviously still clumsy in their youth.

So two nights ago we jumped out of bed, stumbled to our feet, and in the pitch dark I grasped for the light switch to see which wild guest had chosen to join us this time.  The owl swooped and flew across the landing, its eyes big and startled.  Flew right past us into the bedroom and after scuffling behind the bed, took up residence in the rafters, perched on an ancient beam.  It looked at us a couple of times, blinking slowly, closed its eyes and appeared to nod off contentedly.

We backed out of the room, closing the door gently and wondered what to do. It was two thirty am and we really wanted to get back to bed.  But now we had a wild creature sharing our bedroom.  Running Boy, feeling he had overdosed on a massive shot of adrenaline, held his hand over his wildly pumping heart and suggested sleeping in the spare room.  Let the owl find its own way out through the open window.

I on the other hand, having spent time that afternoon preparing the spare room for a weekend guest was not too happy about this option.  I wasn’t going to let the owl keep me from my own comfy bed.  Armed with a broom I headed back into the bedroom to see if I could gently encourage our unexpected visitor to leave.  Not knowing what to do I stood looking up at the owl.

Barely two feet away I marvelled at the colours in its coat. Gold, grey and dusky pink, it was beautiful with its wide, heart-shaped face and razor-sharp beak.  I wanted to take a photograph but didn’t want to scare it.  It’s not often you get to be so close to such a majestic and beautiful bird of prey.  I wondered what message the owl had brought.

Eventually, by tapping gently on the wooden beam, I managed to rouse the owl who hopped down onto the bedroom floor and paused for a moment before heading towards the window and taking flight back out into the black of night, its gracefulness leaving me in awe.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

My research today tells me that the barn owl is a messenger of change.  How fitting considering my last blog post.  Standing in front of the owl in the early hours, I felt no fear, only protection.  Moving forward this is how I choose to feel.  Protected and fearless.  Thank you for your message Barn Owl.  I am humbled and honoured to have received such an esteemed guest.

These are experiences not easily forgotten ♥

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