I haven’t seen any owls since May 9th when the two owlets fledged, but yesterday Meg spotted this one in the box. Thus begins another owl season. My logbook tells me that we had an owl last year on October 20th that didn’t stick around long, either, so if we’re lucky, and our history is precedent, we’ll see it take up residence around Thanksgiving, the mate appear around Christmas, and eventually eggs and owlets in the spring. (Emotionally, I have to prepare myself for anything, lest I become Tony Soprano.)
I watched it most of the day, napping in the sun, with the occasional mobbing by bluejays, until it flew off around 1:45PM — it’s extremely rare in my experience to see one fly that time of day.
After it flew off, I thought of a quote by Werner Heisenberg: “What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”
I run 24/7 surveillance on the box, thanks to a cheap spotting scope and an old iPhone running security camera software. Every morning during owl season I review the footage and often draw screenshots in my diary, so I can really pay attention and really see what I’m looking at:
This is why I am loathe to make any grand pronouncements about analog vs. digital — it is really the dance between them that makes my work what it is. Using the appropriate technology for what I’m trying to do.
The higher-tech camera surveillance lets me relax a bit and, ironically, not be too much in the owl’s business.
The pen and paper help me make actual sense of what I’m looking at.
And then the camera and the computer help me share these images with others.
Fingers crossed for another good season!