Last night I went owling.

I put the dog out and heard an Eastern Screech Owl in the front tree.  It was dark as could be and I heard strange sounds in the dark across the street but I felt that I needed to go owling.

My interest started when I began homeschooling.  We lived in Hernando, MS at the time on a narrow acre that was wooded on the back third.  I often heard owls hoo-hoo back there late at night and found it soothing.  One day there was a field trip with our homeschool group to a class to learn about raptors, so we went.  We were learning about God’s winged creatures for our science class at home and this fit into our studies.  Andi Lehman, who later became one of my dearest friends, had her wildlife on display in the classroom.  She’s a wildlife rehab volunteer and keeps (with permission) rehabilitated birds that can’t live in the wild for some reason, be it a broken wing, missing eye, etc.  She read to the children the book, “Owl Moon”, by Jane Yolin.  It’s an adventure story of a child and an adult walking at night in the snow, with a full moon overhead, to find an owl.  It is a terrific story. 

Time passed and for one reason or another I never made it out to my wooded back yard late at night to go owling.  No one would walk out there with me and, admittedly, it was scarey to go out in the dark with coyotes roaming and who knows what else.

Last night I was determined to check out this little owl that I heard.  So, I put the dog in the house (so she wouldn’t bark at me), grabbed a flashlight and tip-toed out to my street.  I listened, following the sound, flashing my flashlight.  I did this a handful of times until I finally found my light shining right on the owl.  As sweet as it could be, it sat on its perch and just looked at me.  It scratched its head with its right foot then looked at me again. 

I’m thrilled that I finally went owling.  The adventure may not seem like such a big deal to some but I found great joy in it.  It’s something I’ll remember for a long time.