I like to think I’m fauna-aware, but this evening taught me that I’m not as clever as I think I am.
I sometimes think I’m the last person in my neighbourhood who actually hears the world. Everyone else has ear buds in, or is yapping on their phone. I hear lorikeets, and kookaburras, noisy mynas, indian mynas, and those carry-on cockatoos who fly around in huge gangs.
I know the distinct meows of several neighbourhood cats who are not mine, and can distinguish between the beaten up ginger down Hawthorn Road from the crazily-affectionate tabby in Dianne Court.
I sometimes wonder what our next generation of poets will write about: the heat of their cell phone as it heats up in their hand; the joy of choosing exactly the right ring tone; what they were scrolling through when their partner proposed to them?
So, I stride around, thinking I’m pretty darned retro, what with my active listening, and noticing the world. And then, an owl pellet drops on my coat as I’m walking home. I didn’t know there are owls in Vermont South. Logically, there must be some, because owls, although rarely seen, are in most urban and suburban settings.
Splat! The owl pellet dropped onto my coat, then rolled down, down, plop, to the ground. Still wet. Looked to be fur and bones from a mouse. Ick. On my coat. I was suddenly glad it was raining. (It didn’t rain enough. I wiped my coat down when I got home.)
I looked up. Nothing to be seen. The owl either blended perfectly with the tree above me, or had coughed up on the wing, and was silently gone into the coming night.
A quick google search and I’m on the Royal Botanic Gardens website, for suggestions as to which owl might have blessed my coat. A powerful owl certainly regurgitate bones and fur. A southern boobook maybe? A small owl though, and no mention of upchucking. Powerful owls are more common, though, so I’m assuming that one of those thoughtfully delivered mousie.
Despite me instantly wanting to wash my coat(too cold and damp to have it dry properly, so it will have to wait until Spring), I’m happy to know that my area can support owls. And that a whole life is going on around me that I know little about.
Off to do some owl research. Good night.