Watching for Mrs. Owl and a Wolf Moon

Sunday, January 28, 2024

            I watched the owl leave tonight.  6:25 p.m.  Each evening a little later as the sun sinks behind the horizon.  If I were outside, I would absorb the silence of the day’s shadows.  It is almost the end of January.  Soon his mate will arrive.  We hope.  He has not left the box since he arrived.  The day he is not there will be a sign. 

            The sun came out yesterday afternoon and brought a wind to dry the soggy earth.  Today was a beautiful winter Sunday, reaching 64º at the barn, the perfect day to ride.  Rain that began last Monday, January 23, spread ponds across Scattered Oaks pastures and small craters about the diameter of a basketball filled with water in Willis’ paddock.  My boots squished and sunk into the mud by inches.  During a break in the rain on Monday, I removed Willis’ blanket, now covered with dirt and goodness knows what else.  He does not like his blanket, or he prefers being without it, and rolled, probably more than once.  Aside from his legs, spattered with mud, and his hooves, he was clean. 

            Navigating his paddock is still not easy.  I sink into the dirt several inches, but for the most part the little craters of water have dried up.  The one really worrisome thing was the buckets the horses each their grain out of tipped over and filled with water and mud.  Today, I attempted to right one bucket (which I believe is Willis’s) by re-tying it to the post so it doesn’t tip over. 

            In our yard we uncovered the fig which was protected by a frost cloth, or “planket.”  The lantana has succumbed to the freeze, but it will return in the spring.  Tim trimmed it yesterday; rather, cut it back.  I noticed the salvia looks pretty frost bitten and it’s not supposed to freeze.  The bell peppers still have a few more peppers – we took them inside during the freeze.  I surprised a young doe this afternoon as I brought water out to the bird bath, deer trough and dog bowl. 

            There haven’t been many birds at the feeders lately – or I haven’t seen them and the feeders haven’t gone down.  Still, there are plenty of wrens around and a red-shouldered hawk swooped across Willis’ pasture n Thursday.  The deer begin migrating in the late afternoon; I often see a large group of does about 5 p.m.

            The first full moon of January 2024 rose over Earth on January 25, January’s wolf moon.  The January full moon takes its name from packs of wolves that howl outside American villages amid the cold and deep snows of winter.  No howling here, just the silver light in the dark sky.

Christine Baleshta