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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

While We're On The Subject

Of Barn Owls that is.
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It occurs to me that I've yet to tell you a tale of where my owlish love began: in the second story of a elderly farm house on a street called Louie.  I was still in single digits of age.  My sisters and I grew up in a house partly made of science, partly made of magic, and full of encouragement to question and explore.  My father was the town science teacher, known by each and every child still in school.
I realize this is sounding like the opening to a Mary Shelley novel and while we did have a great many questionable objects floating in formaldehyde, and what I'm about to reveal may lie akin to grave robbing, we were a somewhat respectable family living in California's central valley in the 1980's.
My first experience with barn owls was not so much with the birds themselves, but rather with their digestion.  On special Saturdays my father would deliver a few choice nuggets coughed up by local barn owls, filled with the remains of their prey.  Delighted, I would spread out my tools:
Probes.
Picks.
Scalpel.
Needle.
Forcepts.
And ever so carefully, while other children watched The Flintstones and Small Wonder, I would dissect owl pellets, carefully identifying rat femurs and mouse vertebrae.  Consulting creased pages with drawing of bones, spreading digested fur out to see if any treasures lingered behind.
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What kind of wonderful creature was the owl!
They could swivel their heads 280 degrees, soar soundlessly through the night, scare the pants off of you if you happened to be wandering in the dark, AND their stomachs did all the work of forks and knives and cutting boards and garbage compressors.  And if that wasn't enough, they delivered all the information of who they found in swaying grasses and lonely country roads in a tidy little pellet for my scrutiny.
Amazing.
And so the love affair was born.
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While it's been a great many years since I had the pleasure of a pellet, it's easy to recall the first mysteries the owls presented to me.  I've been chasing them ever since.

~ Both the Barn Owl and Barn Owl Feathered Stones will be in the shop lickity split ~
~ I'm off to take the Pup to the dog park before he loses him mind ~
~ CHEERS ~

PS: LADIES, YOU ARE UNBELIEVABLE!

14 comments:

kerin rose said...

mwah!

Cat said...

and it's gone......

: (

loven' the owl
http://www.ourperspective.net/Home/Cats_Blog/Entries/2011/1/10_THE_YEAR_OF_THE_OWL.html
http://www.ourperspective.net/Home/Cats_Blog/Entries/2011/2/12_HOW_MANY_TIMES....html

next time she's mine!
anyone will to battle for it???? ; )

love and light Sweet Dove

WV Satin...very fitting

UmberDove said...

Kerin - j'adore!

Cat - Would you cage match?

MrsLittleJeans said...

a somewhat respectable family? : ) you have me smiling hard miss dove...I am intrigued by their inquisitive looks..I have never examined their dinglings!

xoxo

Sunny Rising Leather said...

WOMAN,

You are fierce. Your work is singing the most important song I know.

Break out your boots, we're going to Hp Pav :)

xoxoxox,
Allison

Carrie said...

ohhhhh lucky! I would have loved that as a kid but my parents....well best not to talk about them!
Owls - love them and your artwork is stunning. We have bats everywhere here, there must be owls, but I haven't seen or heard them - do Pheasants scare them?

Amanda said...

Both of those pieces are beautiful but the feather stone is especially stunning. Really, really lovely work.

WildCare, a rehab for injured wild animals in Noble, Oklahoma, actually sells owl pellets, if I'm remembering their newsletter correctly. I assume they're good for compost maybe?

resolute twig said...

lovely!
and love to hear the story :)

Pat in east TN said...

I love your story. We have owls in our woods and I love to hear them 'talk' to each other in the early morning hours. I love your work, especially the stones.

DalaHorse said...

All these pieces speak right to our heart's....so lovely!
oh....the science teacher's daughter story...loved it!♥

Janet said...

6 blocks from your house, one night when you were in single digits, I stood in my yard and said, "God, I'm failing. I need to know you're real." and 5 seconds later a barn owl flew 5 feet over my head and screeched. Ever since barn owls have been a divine reminder.

The Noisy Plume: said...

Quoi hoot!!!!!

Abigail Jasmine said...

LOVE!

jordan said...

gotta say - i'm sad i missed the stone AND the cuff - barn owls are one of those animals i would consider a personal totem...along with several other winged lovelies.
very very nicely done!