Where I live it’s kind of like an urban forest. We’re near the river, yet right in the city, too – right on Rattlesnake Creek (no rattlesnakes!). We see our fair share of deer and bunnies, raccoons and all sorts of woodpeckers. I’ve even seen a red fox crossing the street at night.
And, oh, the owls.
One of my favorite delights is being woken up in the middle of the night by the after-midnight sounds of our neighborhood – trains whistling around the James, thunderstorms rolling in before sunrise, owls calling for love. My mom lives right next door to us and, since spring, we’ve both been hearing a Barred Owl in between our two yards.
Back in April, when the evening temperatures were still cool enough to sleep with the windows open, a Barred Owl woke Bubba and me up a couple of nights in row. About 2:00 a.m.
Just now at 3:00 p.m., I hear him out there: Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?
I can’t seem him, but I can hear him. Oh man, I need a hammock out back, so I can read and nap and linger in the place between waking and sleeping while the Barred Owl hoots.
Here’s a handy list of all owl songs – should you want to do like I do – quickly identify an owl by its call.