Owl Be Seeing You

As we were driving along Hwy# 148, something caught my eye...something that didn't quite belong, and immediately signaled the inner bird alert.
I yelled politely asked John to slow down, and turn the car around immediately whenever it was convenient. Which he did.
Can you see it? (Yes, it's there!)
Having been birding for several years now, my eyes automatically scan the sides of roads, tops of trees, fence lines...looking for shapes that don't quite fit,
as in this case a football sitting on a branch.
A football? That doesn't make any sense! The season ended here ages ago, and besides, a football isn't as fluffy.
Must be, I hope it is, I think it is, turn the car around now!! It's an owl!
As we turned around, I'm reaching for camera and the binoculars (never leave home without them...bird nerd, I know!), so I'm ready when once again we pull up to the spot we were just seconds ago.
Yay!!! Still there!

It's been three or four years since I've had such a good look at an owl...in this case, a Barred Owl. You know the one...you can often hear him calling on an early spring evening..."Who  cooks for you? Who cooks for you?"
They're generally nocturnal, so to see one on a bright Saturday afternoon is a thrill. And this guy, not only did he did he not fly away as soon as we parked the car beside the road, he actually flew closer -
wanted a look at us too it seems!
 And sat patiently while I adjusted the camera, rolled the window down further, and generally acted like an squirrely tourist!
I remember as a child, my mother reciting this nursery rhyme to me:
A wise old owl sat in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard
Now wasn't he a wise old bird?

I got it then, and I get it now..and perhaps that's why the owl -any owl - is a such  favourite of mine. They're just so spectacularly special. They have acheived mythical status -they're wise, they're full of magic, they portend great beginnings and great endings. And they sail to sea with pussycats in beautiful pea green boats.
They're truly a hoot.