Monday, December 8, 2014

In the Company of Owls

Saturday night was a great night to walk through the woods at the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's Sylvan Solace Preserve.  CWC Director Stan Lilley and I led this walk for a total of twenty-one interested people.  Most of those attending had never taken a moonlit walk through the woods before and a few people had never visited Sylvan Solace.  We gave everyone a glowstick so people would not get lost.  The weather cooperated with a crisp clear night with a full moon and lots of stars (until the moonlight blotted most of them out).  We took a little over an hour to walk one for the preserve's trails.

The moon through the trees

At several points along the trail we stopped to call for owls - Eastern Screech, Barred, and Great Horned.  We were successful at calling in a pair of Barred Owls along the Chippewa River.  The first owl just swooped around overhead, but the second landed in a tree nearly overhead.  When we shined a light on it there were several cries of amazement.  Unfortunately I was unable to get a good photograph of it while shining a flashlight at the same time.
Stan Lilley calls for owls with an app on his phone.

The blurry thing in the very center of this photo is one of the Barred Owls

After the walk, a small group stayed around to drink hot chocolate and talk.  There is already talk of schedule a spring moonlit walk to listen for frogs and we have a moth outing scheduled for July.

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