A New Neighbor
I apparently have an owl that has taken up residence in a tree in my back yard. He hoots, whether to attract a mate during unseasonably warm weather, or to agitate prey to reveal itself, I do not know. But upon turning off the television and bringing the dogs back inside the house for the night, I can hear him hooting clearly every thirty seconds or so. (Obviously, I do not know whether the critter hooting in my back yard’s cherry tree is male or female, but creatures and many inanimate objects are presumptively “he” for narrative purposes.) We have mourning doves in the area, too, but their hoots and coos and warbles sound very different than this.
The visage of an owl eating kind of freaks me out — when he opens his mouth, his whole face moves up while his lower jaw stays in one place. Still, I am delighted that he is here because, hey, an owl!
My wife will not be so enchanted as I, after she considers that owls are predators, and what it is that owls prey upon. Nearly everything they eat is either something that we don’t want near the house in the first place, like mice, or something that my wife wants to attract to the house, like songbirds. While I think it’s kind of cool that we have an owl, he’s surely here because he thinks there’s food nearby. She likes the hawk that comes by to find a pigeon or a dove almost as much as me, because he is really cool-looking, until she remembers that we have adorable quail, too.
What’s the coolest or most interesting animal you’ve had set up shop near your home?