Last week, I grabbed my Sony and took a late day stroll down to the "pond". Now shrunken to a tiny waterhole, it is a magnet for critters during the annual spring drought.
As I approached the empty hole in the ground, I slowed my pace, flipped on the camera, and began scanning ahead.
This is what I saw ... apparently my tiny dock had grown big ears.
I don't think this deer could see me, but she had already heard me, so I knew she would not be in my picture plans.
Another reason why it's important to be on time ... had I been in position ... lying prone on the dock above the waterhole, I might have gotten a nice doedrinkingwatermakeyagoahhhh type picture.
The importance of being on time is a lesson I seem to learn over and over again.
Often I'm late for the lesson.
The deer trotted off into the willows and brush and I lay down on the dock to look and listen. I turned off the camera to save juice while I let things settle down again.
About ten minutes later, I was forgiven my tardiness when the barred owl landed in the willow tree next to the dock. Two tiny kinglets flew in there with him fussing and flitting about.
I turned on the camera and the flash, since it was late and the pond is ringed by large sunblocking oaks to the west. I prefocused on the tiny waterhole and waited.
The kinglets went silent, flew out of the willow, and suddenly the owl was at the waterhole again.
He didn't drink at first, because his attention was drawn to my position.
It wasn't my fault ...
Feather had finished her supper, and nose down, tracked me to my hiding spot. She glared at the owl ... daring him to try and carry her master away.
The owl raised his wings and took two steps in the soft mud. I pushed the shutter release, the flash went off, and this owl vanished.
There was no sound.
There was no owl in the bushes nearby.
There was no owl in the sky drifting silently to a new perch.
One second he was there, the next silently gone.
I was looking at him the whole time and I missed his exit.
No wonder people have assigned mystical abilities to owls throughout time.
Sometimes, they weird me out too.
He's been in the vet hospital over the long weekend and we have not heard any news since Saturday morning (positive news).
Today, I'll know something and I'll post an update about him as soon as I get home from the vet's office this evening.
Keep thinking those good thoughts!