Friday, January 1, 2010

A Quiet New Year's Morning

This is the quietest morning of the year. No commuters driving to work, New Year revelers are sound asleep, and our neighbor's homes are still dark, except for a sprinkling of Christmas lights. As we stepped out into the darkness before first light, we woke or startled a barred owl. We heard a loud screech followed by a few notes of "who-who-who-whoooo." The initial screech sounded more mammalian than bird. The ending though clinched it as a barred owl. I found the following website -- barred owl vocalizations -- trying to find a match for the sound we heard. If you click on that link and scroll down to "whistle-screech-female" then click on one of the calls -- that is what we heard this first day of 2010.

The full moon still lingered high on the western horizon as we walked in the dark. Despite a cloud cover, the bright moon shone through, before finally setting behind thicker clouds. A pinch of snow was falling, an inch accumulated overnight. More is on the way, in batches of a few inches now and then throughout the weekend. A good start to the New Year, with no rain in sight.

Peace in 2010

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