A barred owl (Strix varia) arrived today, and despite having to fly off a few times when I got a bit too close – and whenever I pulled out binoculars, which he apparently hates – he has come back again and again, and watched over my garden all day, as I cut wood, as I hauled wood, as I went to get water and as I stood and thought. Click on the photo for a closer look. These guys are colored exactly like the north woods, and are in many ways the animal that I most associate with them. I find it hard to look at them without thinking of wisdom and mystery and long, long patience.
In the winter here they are noticeably whiter and puffier. Impressively I saw one of these owls in the Everglades, and apparently they range all the way down to Honduras!