here at the start of the owling season, my focus becomes a bit confused. i think owls at night and sleep during those times when i am not owling. sometimes though, i have to take on the shape of a round peg in the round hole that is tofte’s social life.
like today, for instance.
a wedding reception with food and beer and conversation and food and beer. and that is to happen before i go out and listen for bastard owls.
i asked the hostess of the gala what i should wear and she said “nice casual.”
i have no idea what that means. a crease in my carharts? extra gel in my hair? i do smelly fleece and relish my week-ends during the spring because then, i am allowed to relive the glory and the stink from my springs of yore.
nice casual. hmmmm. fortunately, i have a soothing, social voice that will accompany me to this function and from her, i will derive common sense and balance and all of her accrued distaff wisdom.
did i mention there will be food and beer?
last night’s owling started with a (saw-whet) bang and ended with a spineless, nocturnal whisper. two swets right off the start…one a half-hour later and thereafter…nothing. as it did the other night, an aurora made an appearance, then slinked away to a paltry, emasculated display in canada. everything that happened provided the perfect intellectual backdrop for what has now become an ongoing internal debate….what’s the point?
boreals are gone…they won’t magically repopulate a landscape that has turned younger and less supportive. moose are gone. i see bud light empties and “lil’ scamp” pop-up trailers in the middle of nowhere…two surefire signs of the pending apocalypse.
last night’s debate was accompanied by the painful realization that the magical, strigidaen nights 0f the 80’s and 90’s will not be rekindled, despite my fervent hope they do just that. seventeen years ago tonight, i heard 18 boreal and 5 great gray owls in a single evening. over the past 10 years, i have heard a total of 11 boreals.
still, i am torn by the biologic concept that if one wants discovery, one needs to be in a place where discovery can occur.
i have long held the desire to finish up when i achieve 30 years of owl indulgence. i am 3 years away from that, but only if i finish my 26th year which, at this point, may be tough to accomplish.