once there are owls, there are owlers…each in his or her own little, seasonally-inflated bubble of owl wonderment.
sometimes though, the sharp needle of reality has a tendency to burst an owler’s bubble. i think that happened to me last night.
there i was, all caffeined up and chock-full of non-nutritive foodstuffs, swaddled in three layers of stinky fleece. it was perfect. it was the night before the super moon and the weather had two thumbs up, written all over it. plus, there has been owls.
so far this season, i have experienced contentment, dare i say bliss, during my nocturnal immersions. i feel like a springtime participant again, and not the indentured servant whose sole function was to make the forest service look like they were doing their job.
yet, even on the nights when a real job isn’t looming with the next sunrise and i can dawdle into the wee hours, it helps to have some acoustical accompaniment during my nocturnal forays… just a song or two, some chatter, perhaps a bit of owl squabble to let me know there is a purpose behind my owling obsessiveness. i was hoping for that last night, but came painfully short of my goal.
interestingly, on my route last night, i was able to rekindle the excitement i felt during my early years when surveys were heavy on discovery. i could remember the intact landscape and me coursing through it in archaic outerwear, intent on figuring things out. those nights were data sheet-filling expeditions into the unknown, when i first recognized the pattern and connectivity between owl song and owl behavior. but even then, there were nights when nothing sang, nothing demanded attention, nothing happened.
silent nights were wholly nights that were highly unwelcome.
it was a beautiful night last night and yet, i was disappointed when it ended at 0100. i felt fine and mentally sharp. my back had yet to seize up on me (a function of hours of standing immobile in the middle of the road, like a doofus) and the caffeine provided mental acuity and an everlasting ability to scent mark the night.
yet, only one (lowly) barred owl provided diversion.
in my 5 hours, i did not see or hear another person. my thoughts did not wander. i was focused on where i was and why i was there. i was content.
in this my 25th owl spring, i am coming to grips with my owling and so, i am coming to grips with myself at a time when i really need to do just that.
it feels good to be in my bubble again.
next: when supermoons go bad.