Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snowy Owl

The first snow storm of the year is here, as well as visiting writer Howard Norman. On the drive to Johnson, Howard spotted a snowy owl on a covered bridge near Wolcott, VT. A snowy owl! Apparently, it is an irruption year for the species due to an increased lemming population. This boost in survival rate and food supply has sent the snowy owls further afield, south into the United States (with sightings this winter from Seattle to Boston with snowy owls spotted as far south as parts of Missouri and eastern Pennsylvania).

This snowy owl was spotted in the Indian Springs Metropark outside Detroit two weeks ago.

Now that I know, I hope to see one, too. (I hear the common in Craftsbury village may be a choice location.) In the meantime, I want to share this awesome John Haines poem:

Prayer to the Snowy Owl 

Descend, silent spirit;

you whose golden eyes
pierce the grey
shroud of the world—

Marvelous ghost!

Drifter of the arctic night,
destroyer of those
who gnaw in the dark—

preserver of whiteness.

--John Haines, from Winter News (Wesleyan University Press)

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