Friday, April 3, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rain threatened all day long but after checking the radar and seeing a break in the line of precipitation, I went to the park only for the first drops of rain to hit before I got to the owls area. The rain picked up so I kept my camera bag in my backpack but took out my binos. I was able to have my umbrella deployed and still look around with my binos. While this was an effective method, I must have looked a sight.

I found Charles in his favorite conifer in a lower branch than usual. I found Sarah the fourth of The Four Trees. A little later, I saw her fly gracefully into The Wooded Area. I reaquired her in The Salon Tree. This tree got its name from the fact that during this nesting season and last year's this has been Sarah's favorite tree for grooming, stretching, defecating and expelling pellets. One of the most amazing things to witness is Sarah's dedication to her progeny, which is typical of her species but no less remarkable. When she is incubating the eggs and when the owlets are very young, she will come out of the nest for mere minutes per day. She takes care of her grooming and excretory needs and returns to the nest to keep the eggs or young owlets warm and secure. Here is a picture of Sarah in The Salon Tree from March 27, 2009:

I headed out to the nest tree and began to look for Art, the owlet that had left the nest the day before. I looked carefully around the nest tree and many other trees in the area but I could not find him. I even ventured cautiously into The Wooded Area, mindful of the aggressively protective nature of Sarah and female of the species in general. Still, I was unable to find Art.

Not finding Art, I turned my efforts to locating Mo in the nest. Like last year, I have found it helpful to look at a nest from several different vantage points to achieve a good variety of views into the nest. Despite visiting the various Stations of the Cross (cue lightning), I did not get a clear view of Mo. Charles made me feel better as I heard him hoot from The Wooded Area. Even though I have heard thousands of individual hoots, hearing him hoot remains enchanting and thrilling.

At this point, the rain had been coming down quite well for quite some time so I decided to head home. I jumped on a bus and arrived home with my pants soaked up to the ankles and a little concerned but hopeful about Art and Mo.


  1. Most interesting, Mark! Thanks for the update.

  2. Thanks, Mark, for sending this update. Your writings are always most interesting. Love, Mom

  3. Thanks, Mom for your continued support and encouragment. (Aw shucks) -Mark