Monday, August 8, 2016

An Owl in the Cemetery

     On thrusday, August 4th, I stopped at the Spring Creek Cemetery along West Valley Road.  I have driven by numerous times and always thought it looked like it may be a good spot for resident and migrating birds.

the Spring Creek Cemetery
     It was a beautiful and cool morning, and I walked around the cemetery looking for small birds.  I was surprised to look up and see a Great Horned Owl sitting 8 feet up in a mature tree, just staring at me. My first thought was "great! what a cool place to find an owl!", then I wondered about the correlation between a cemetery and an owl.

Great Horned Owl - Spring Creek Cemetery

Great Horned Owl - Spring Creek Cemetery

Great Horned Owl - Spring Creek Cemetery

     Here is a passage I found on owls in North American Tribal culture.

"In most Native American tribes, owls are a symbol of death. Hearing owls hooting is considered an unlucky omen, and they are the subject of numerous 'bogeyman' stories told to warn children to stay inside at night or not cry too much, otherwise the owl may carry them away. In some tribes, owls are associated with ghosts, and the bony circles around an owl's eyes are said to be made up of the fingernails of ghosts. Sometimes owls are said to carry messages from beyond the grave or deliver supernatural warnings to people who have broken tribal taboos. And in the Aztec and Mayan religions of Mexico, owls served as the messengers and companions of the gods of death."**


     My belief of the symbol of an owl is nearly the opposite.  I see it as a good omen, a blessing on the day.  To see an otherwise nocturnal bird with quiet and secretive habits, I believe, is great!  The owl makes its living trying to not be detected, so finding one, especially in the day, is a good blessing. Maybe it has to do with the owl being outsides its relm, and into one we have dominated, that makes it seem special to me.  It feels like a visitor, and if I were to spot an owl at night, I sure would feel like the outsider then!

     I hope anyone who is reading this can appreciate what it takes to find and see an owl during the day, and make your own idea of what it means to you to see an owl.

**Source of the above quote:

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