twenty seconds into my first stop last night, a saw-whet sang from a clump of aspen on the distant side of a recent ahh…”anthropogenic disturbance.”
twenty seconds into my fourth stop, the winds picked up and owl song was lost.
the harmonics of wind through limbs of fir and spruce and pine creates acoustic chaos. you swear you hear song, yet it is not the organized song of a plaintive male owl. there is no pattern. pattern begets detection begets purpose (for an owler in the north woods during a march night).
once upon a time, the area i surveyed was a vast, contiguous stretch of boreal forest. contiguous forest, however, appears to have been misplaced over the past two decades.
pulpwood. windstorms. gravity.
many places i visit i could apply the same description and for me, change in the landscape has mostly been unforgiving. i want every thing to be the way it was when i had unbounded exuberance and rewards for my 10 hours in the night.
nothing ever hurts as much as it did when the pain occurred. owling is never as good as it once was.
anecdotes are my polaris now. they will guide me and be honed and crafted and i am sure, retold over and over again. somewhere in the archives of my blogs, my old posts probably bear that out.
“didn’t he say that somewhere else?”
“why yes. yes i did. thank you for noticing.”
just one boreal, for old time’s sake.