When Pete got home from work yesterday, he took one look at me and sent me into the woods to unwind. We live a stone's throw from Wickenden Park, and there's nothing like spending a half hour alone in the forest surrounded by massive cedars, wet huckleberry bushes and bird calls to calm oneself.
There's a family of owls that have been living in the park for years, and everyone I've met in Deep Cove knows about them. I headed out with my camera, followed the sound of the screeching, and found them in their usual spot near the bridge.
Pete's been chased by them as he runs along the trail. My fear of having those talons aimed at me kept in check the extremes to which I was willing to go to get a good shot.
We've seen the three owls working together to corner a squirrel. Once one flew over the trail clutching a rat.
Another evening one was perched on a low branch in a tree just outside the park. All the neighbours were milling about, coffees in hand, admiring it. The owl never took its eyes off a cat that was lounging at the side of the road.
I believe these are barred owls. The fluffiness makes me wonder if this one is a juvenile, but I'm no ornithologist.
Somehow seeing these creatures in the forest puts everything in perspective, and I trotted out of the woods refreshed, having only overstayed my allotted time by twenty minutes.