Saturday, December 6, 2008

Owl Follow Up...

Ok, I've done a little owl research, and it very clearly was a Great Horned Owl

Um, but there are some rad and super fucking adorable tiny owls native to this area too! OMG, I couldn't help but pass along the Northern Saw-whet Owl:

and the Northern Pygmy Owl!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What it fortells...

So today after I got off work and unlocked my bike, I turned eastward and saw a shooting star. Like an amazing green shooting star to the southeast, it was so bright and in the sky for so long, longer than a whole second, that for a millisecond I thought it was an airplane, but as it streaked downward I realized it was a meteorite and it burned from green to a flash of white and disappeared. I won't tell you what I wished for. Anyway, it was pretty and odd. Like in such a way that I'm taking all this time right here to describe it to you instead of simply stating, "I saw a shooting star" plus the sun hadn't fully set yet, it wasn't pitch black, so that made it even more striking, I've never seen a meteorite that early before, I've usually only seen them late at night.

Then I hopped on my bike, crossed Broadway and rode down to 18th, made a right and was peddling fast to get warm, past those giant elm trees and big old houses lit by orange street lamps. It's a pretty street and fall leaves were everywhere. Anyway, i was still thinking about that crazy shooting star, when the giant dark shadow of a HUMONGOUS bird came right over me and scared the crap out of me. In my first heartbeat I thought it was a crow flying close to a streetlight, and it was like the movie The Crow, the way this shadow overtook me and was so perfectly bird shapped, uh I just don't know how to describe how awesomely cinematic the whole thing was, then a second heartbeat later a huge owl flew right over my head after his shadow. He was big and soft looking with an indescribable wingspan, he slowly and deliberately moved those giant wings and I could almost feel the big thuds of his wingbeats. He swooped ahead of me and glided to the right into a tree. I slammed on my brakes and walked my bike back down the sidewalk and saw him sitting up in a tree. He was like a big, dark, fluffy mass with pointy ears and two tiny shiny eyes. He was twice the size of my cat. We stared at each other for a second, then he lumbered off his branch, and gently loped off into the air, over my head, and I spun around to see him go off to the right around the corner. Then a band of kids came running up to me with tennis rackets and little plastic bats, they were all excited and started yelling to me, "Hey, did you see that owl? It was following you!" We all went around to corner together to see if we could find it again, but he was gone.

I didn't think owls lived in cities! I don't think I've ever seen one like that before. it was kind of amazing, but also totally weird paired with that shooting star. Like I feel like they were olden days omens or something. I hope they would've been good omens, and not fire and brimstone ones.

Dudes, I'd be so stoked if I woke up in the middle of the night to a tap-tapping on my window and it's that fucking owl and he can talk, and he has a secret message for me from some magical distant relative. So like, if I'm not here tomorrow, it's because I'm in some magical otherworld where one minute there equals 7 years here and I hope I can take Algebra with me in a basket and when we get there she can speak english and prefers to be dressed in a pinafore. That'd be so fucking sweet.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Today when I got home from work, I hopped off my bike, pulled open the gate and walked into my backyard. What I found was a riot of urban wildlife activity! There were maybe 10-15 crows in my walnut tree, making a raucous, three squirrels in the bough of the tree eating walnuts and chasing each other around the trunk, walnuts raining down like crazy all around me from the crows, squirrels, and natural gravity, and a little tuxedo cat that I'd never seen before eying every one with indecipherable motives.

(The crows like to pick the walnuts and drop them into the street, then wait for cars to drive by and crush them, after which they swoop down and eat the nutmeats. It's pretty entertaining. It drives Algebra crazy.)

Then the little tuxedo cat sprang forward and darted toward the squirrels. Tuxedo cats are usually pretty smart. I chased after her, but she was undeterred. Walnuts are still raining down on all sides, I'm glad I still have my helmet on, because it's loud, though it doesn't hurt too bad to actually get pegged by one. Anyway, the cat chases the squirrels up the tree and gets herself stuck in a place that's hard to come back down from. A squirrel starts yelling at her from an unapproachably high branch. I coax her out, but she sits at the base of the tree, waiting for the squirrels. I put my bike away and go into the house grab my "walnut harvesting bowl" and say hi to Algebra, who follows me back out of the house and into the yard to keep me company while I pick up walnuts for myself. So now it's me, the crows and the squirrels going after the walnuts, and two cats. Algebra kind of ignores the tuxedo cat and follows me around the yard as I pick up walnuts. The weather was warm and cloudy, pretty nice.

I love my walnut tree. It's probably as old as the house. I love that it provides food for so many people and animals. In less than an hour I have enough walnuts to last me forever. Good vegan protein, and its free! Plus everyone in the neighborhood gets some too! You can shell them and put the nutmeats in jars and keep them in the freezer for a pretty long ass time. If you are close by, please come over and help yourself...