Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Barred owl

It was a pleasure today to come face to face with my barred owl friend, and for him (or her) to have sat still long enough for me to get photos that I could share with you.. During the spring, summer and fall, I hear him each afternoon. His most distinctive call is like this: “Who cooks for you. Who cooks for you. Who cooks for you-allll.” His nest is only a few yards from the back of my house. I have seen his quiet flight, wings retreating quickly through the woods. But this is the first time I have seen him still.

I know there are those who have no connection with the outdoors. I have heard that some people don’t even like it. Too many bugs and other unexpected, undesirable elements of intolerable reality. I feel a sense of tragedy for them, for what they miss, but I feel a sense of tragedy also for the wild things that come to harm through the thoughtlessness of those whose rightful place should be to protect.

I worry that democracy is harmful to everyday reality. How can we entrust wilderness to the care of those who have so little understanding for it? It presents a challenge. We must get kids into the woods and take time ourselves to observe the wonders.

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