A Mysterious Visitor
Barred Owl in a camellia tree
Last month I had two unusual encounters with an owl. One afternoon, in the monastery dining room, I heard an unusual snapping of branches and flapping of wings. I ran to one of the windows and discovered a baby owl that was learning to fly. It was a Barred Owl that caused commotion among the sisters. We were afraid it would end up on the ground. Finally, it succeeded and remained perched on the branch of a tree near the dining room for a long time. Some sisters even came out and watched the owl for a few minutes. The owl did not move from the branch for long time and did not seem to care about curious observers.
Then approximately two weeks later, I was at my desk trying to write something, when I felt someone watching me. At first, I could not see it because it was very well camouflaged among the trees. It was an owl. It was on a tree branch, about 20 feet away from my window. I stopped typing and looked at it to decide if I would have enough time to grab my phone and take a photo, when, to my surprise, I saw the owl flying towards my window and ending up perched in the camellia in front of my room. The owl watched me with curiosity. I think it was the same owl I saw previously, but it was no longer a baby.
I was able to take many photographs. I was even able to move around and turn off the light to improve the image and take a video. I just could not believe my good luck. At first, I thought the owl was hungry and wanted to take one of the birds that visit the bird feeders I hung last year on the camellia. But it was just curious. It observed me and everything around, until it got bored and took a nap. Then, to my dismay, my alarm announced midday prayers. I had to leave my privileged position. When will I again have the opportunity to observe an owl from no more than six feet away?
Prayer is more important, so I left my room and headed to the Oratory. After prayers I went to the dining room. I had lunch and returned to my room comforted by the good photographs I took. Then, to my delight, I saw that the owl was still there. Waiting for me? I could not believe what I was seeing. Yes, the owl was there and when I turned on the light, it paid attention to me again, I turned off the lights and approached the window. I saw the owl looking at me with curious eyes. I wonder what the owl saw and, if there is an owl blog, what it would write about our encounter. I wonder if it would go around the forest showing photos and videos and telling everyone about the blessings it felt from the encounter with a human.
To see this owl in a short video, go to https://www.youtube.com/shorts/f417QmxRbd0