sorry, i don’t survey in the cold anymore

i have done cold. i have done wind. i have done surveys.  i will not do cold and wind and surveys in the same night again. 

take 1991, for example.  i was at the canadian border, stopping every half-mile until i couldn’t feel my toes.  it was -18 f and i just wanted to determine if owls sang during real cold weather.  perhaps they did but i didn’t stick around to find out.  hypothermia subsided somewhere around lutsen.

hypothermia was a constant companion during my formative owling years and it wasn’t just me.

in 1993, i was interviewed by jason davis as part of his “on the road” series and though i tried to warn him, he insisted a bomber jacket and loafers would be enough to stay warm on an early april night in the middle of the boreal forest.   the temperature dropped to 10 degrees and i still remember the unique clatter of his teeth as he and his loafers left to suck down several shots of jaegermeister at the blue fin in tofte.

the message here?  always trust an owlman.  

i have two survey routes left in round one of surveys and 8 days to do them.  i think i should be okay, but the forecast is looking like unseasonable cold will be my companion for the next week or so, which can mean only one thing…the skiing is going to be awesome.  in fact, i just got back from a 22 km jaunt and now for entertainment, am watching not direct tv, but for little owls silhouettes, flittering amongst the bare limbed aspen. 

if the boy i heard the other night has found a muse, he will be back.  if on the other hand, he was simply testing the reproductive waters during a brief interlude on his springtime migration, he could be in thunder bay by now. 

and seriously…he just started singing.

how cool is that? 

i won’t do cold and wind and surveys, but i will do cold and wind and owls in my back yard.


About borealbilly

i am cursed by nocturnal self-awareness. View all posts by borealbilly

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