Friday, September 07, 2012

Early morning

At this time of year I start my morning walks with Dog and Baby Dog a full hour before sunrise. I can’t see even a hint of morning in the east. Instead of being greeted by robins or the even-earlier rising crows, the call of the screech owl is now what greets me as soon as I step out the door.

The screech owls range all over Roundtop, sometimes closer, sometimes further away from my cabin. Lately, one bird has been very close, but I still have never seen it, even when I use my headlamp to try and catch a glimpse of its eyeshine.

Once I turn my porch light on, Doodle, my rooster, wakes too and starts an unlikely duet with the screech owl. The owl calls and Doodle crows, back and forth, half a dozen times or more before Doodle wins. Doodle, refreshed after a night’s sleep, always wins. The little owl probably figures it’s too much effort after a long night of trying to make a living off the insects and mice in the forest. With all the katydids around right now, the owl can probably do pretty well for itself and by night’s end is probably looking for a good nap.

The constellation Orion is high in the early morning sky right now, too. We tend to think of Orion as a late fall constellation that rises as darkness falls, but if you get up early enough, you can see it now. You could probably see it in August, too, but I usually don’t get up that early!

After half an hour or so of walking, the eastern sky starts to lighten. The Canada geese wake up and fuss a bit over on the big pond. At first I thought something might be after them, but they act like this every morning. It’s just how they wake up. Eventually, crows sound out the start of day and the sun appears on the horizon. The mountain is waking up to another day.

1 comment:

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

A battle between an owl and a rooster? Such symbols of nightime and daybreak it's a wonder there's not a folktale about them.