Thursday, February 3, 2011

Urban Owls in the Woods

I have discovered a Wonder not far from our house. There is a beautiful park, Reservoir Woods, just up the road from us. No one talks about this place, and I had never heard of it until last summer, but it is so lovely! There are wetlands, buggy lowlands, butternut woods with currants, a sunny vineyard of sumac, and lovely tall piney woods.
It is in the piney woods that we have seen owls. Or rather, an owl. I don't know if two owls would ever sit together like that--it is a fanciful rendering for a nursery wall. I think I could have been more realistic if it weren't the dead of winter--so this picture shows all the gaps in my memory of one of my favorite forests. I did try to show the forest floor, sparse of plants, and covered with a thick mat of orangey needles. A fallen log with that bright orange fungus spotting it. Sunny greenness and sky showing farther away. I wish I could depict the feeling of depth in these white pine stands. The trees are so tall, and the woods adopt a stillness. It is like a chapel.

I first saw the owl high in the trees, far off, with that distinct shape. I have seen him close up too--covered in fluffy grey feathers, as wide as my car when his wings were spread, silent as the woods when flying, even from very close. It was a gift, one that I treasure. I do hope this owl
has little ones to nurture in the spring?


Teresa said...

Hello. Becky gave me this painting on Sunday at my baby shower. I absolutely adore it, and it is hanging proudly in my daughter's nursery. I'm so glad to have a little background on the setting of the painting. I can't wait to tell Josephine all about it. Thank you so much!

MamaBear said...

Oh, thank you so much! I'm glad you like it, and so pleased to have made something that will be special to you.

Once, I saw the owl close up. I went past the piney woods, on into a thistle patch in a valley beyond. I saw a great old willow tree with abandoned furniture in front of it that I wanted to investigate. coming nearer, I heard a great rustling, and out of the underbrush exploded a great grey owl! Once he was aloft, he(she?) was absolutely silent. Covered in fluffy grey feathers, all over legs and feet. I swear he was as wide as my car, with wings spread out, and only twenty feet away. It was so close, really a sacred moment for me. And now I know for sure that he's there. I'll bet he watches everything that goes on in those little woods, even if I never see him again!

Again, enjoy!
-libby Jane