Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Night and dawn

The forest was dark when Dog and I began our morning walk today. The night sky was already starting to pale, but the trees still held the darkness close under the canopy of leaves. Today, the first sound I heard was not the sweet summer call of the pewee, the forest’s earliest riser. It was the hoot of a great horned owl, the night hunter.

The owl was a short distance up the mountain from us, its hoots loud enough to resonate. What better sign could there be that the days are already shortening? Instead of the morning bird calls I’ve been accustomed to for the past several months, today the night caller was still reigning the woods.

Dog and I hadn’t gotten far before the pewee began to sing, and for a few minutes I heard both the last call of night’s creature and the first call of morning’s. The owl would hoot, and it seemed the pewee answered, the two calling back and forth with perfect timing. For a few minutes the two shared the forest, in that hazy time when both night and dawn appear to be the same. And then it was truly dawn, and the owl retreated, while the pewee continued its song, this time a solo.

8 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

A perfect description of your surrounding woods Carolyn. I could just close my eyes and be there.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Only this morning, after rising at my usual time, I stepped outside with the dog and noted how dark it was—not from cloud cover, but from the later arrival of dawn.

The times they are a'changin'.

Nice post with the owl/peewee exchange. I liked the photo, too.

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: Thank you. It was a nice morning--once I got used to the surprise of how dark it was.

Griz: Funny how something that happens every year can continue to feel fresh and new to me when it happens for the first time again.

Carolyn H.

Wanda said...

You said it so welll...and really captured that peaceful feeling one gets as the night changes to dawn...it is my favorite time of day...

Carolyn H said...

Wanda: Thanks! Today was especially peaceful--no breeze whispering in the background, either.

Carolyn h.

Cathy said...

Beautiful post

Ah, kinda enjoy it when the days shorten up a bit. Glad you got to hear the owl, right now I'm hearing is the crickets and dogs baking. oh, when you go to my blogs, did my annual I'm tired of summer rant. However there's an excellent photo of an orange mushroom over there too.

www.thequietone.net

Cate said...

That was a really lovely piece of writing. I don't think I've ever been moved to comment before, but this drew me out.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I'm not sure I share your enjoyment of the shorter days. I don't have time to get things done outside even now@!

Cate: Thanks foryour kind words and for saying hi!

Carolyn H.