One of my very favorite books in the world is Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, who lives and writes prolifically in a nearby town.
Last year I wanted to take Lily on our own Owl Moon walk. February is a good time to lure the owls to fly out and be spotted because it's their mating season, so they are curious and maybe foolish. Lily and I practiced our owl calls and got all excited, but it didn't work out. Somehow the entire month of February was snowy or freezing or I was working too many days in a row whenever it was nice.
This year I put it on my calender for January and I started keeping an eye out for a good night.
We crunched down the street, leaving Cookie in her crate, hoping she wouldn't bark and yip the whole time we were gone.
The moon was so bright, we had clear shadows moving along beside us. Lily was very chatty in a delirious sleepy sort of way. I tried to gently shush her and notice the night, but she was half asleep and probably a bit nervous.
We walked on bright moonlit snow paths into the golf course and walked to the base of a large tree.
We were getting chilly. We nestled our backs against the tree and I started hooting,
"Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" (I didn't really say those words, the phrase just helps you remember the cadence)
(Here's what I was trying to sound like.)
Then we waited in the quiet.
Then I hooted again
And we waited.
We heard some whining crying sounds in the valley below.
First one then another then we couldn't keep track. Was it 5 or 7? Where were they?
High, wild, squealing and connecting in the night.
They still sounded far away, but I did have that feeling of, "We can just run to the car. Oh right, we don't have the car."
Lily said, "I'm cold."
The calls got louder and maybe a bit closer so we turned toward home.
Exciting to know there are wild wiry creatures out there howling at the moon.
It was so sweet to enter the warm house and go to bed in front of the fire. (Rob was downstairs because Cookie had yipped and cried when we left.)
Happy Full Moon