delithopia

Notes from the Waxhaws

Convocation

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I thought I heard the hoot of an owl this morning as I awoke. After rising, and after making the mandatory pot of coffee, I pulled on my jacket and went outside in the darkness…to sit and await the dawn…keeping company with the planet Venus, which hovered just above the tree line in silence. The whip-poor-wills were softly asserting their presence to the new day. Crows were beginning to noisily wake up…probably complaining about the roosters in the distance who had been up since 4 am.

The sun had yet to rise, but after a while, I heard the hoots of a Barred Owl…Who cooks for you…who cooks for y’allllllllll (this is the South). The quality of sound emanating from this bird took me aback. It was coming from the pine woods to the south…an area that I call the Dark Wood. There was a strange and tremulous reverberation to the hoots, as if they were bouncing off of  a rock facing. On a topographic map of the area, I had noticed that there was an old quarry of some kind in that direction. I’ve never ventured into those dark, impenetrable woods…mostly because I want them to remain mysterious…the haunt of owls, and perhaps other elusive and wild creatures.

All of a sudden, I heard another owl begin hooting…just as the first’s descending y’allllllllll was completing. It sounded as if I was an innocent bystander to a territorial dispute of some kind. Then…yet another owl began to join in the vocal fray…causing quite a pandemonium. I’m always appreciative of hearing Barred Owl in the nocturnal stillness…but this was really an unexpected treat. I’ve heard that a group of owls is called a parliament of owls…probably because they’ve been seen as symbols of wisdom. What I experienced early on this Carolina April morning was more of a convocation…a literal calling together of owls…to what purpose I can’t imagine. Things finally quieted down (perhaps the argument was settled?)… as the sun begin to make its appearance…clothing some clouds in the west in a soft pinkish hue.

April Morning

 

Written by Jim

April 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm

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