Sunday, August 28, 2016

Up in the Tulip Poplar Tree

About three weeks ago I was awakened by crows throwing a fit over something.  They seemed close to the house, so I figured it must be a hawk too near their roosting place.  I sighed and tried to go back to sleep when I heard the hawk also yelling back at them.  Even if you live in the woods the animal neighbors can be just as noisy arguing as that screeching little old lady and the teenage boys on their skateboards!  Still this demeanor was way too early even for me.

I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed to see where this was happening, and discovered as I opened the front door where the cacophony exploded, that it was right outside the garage door in that big old leaning tulip poplar tree...that one we are saving money for to bring down as it is a threat to the garage and upstairs bedroom.

The crows were all around the top of the tree, some flying and some resting on branches cawing with vehemence.  Then I saw the hawk.  (No tripod, so apologies for the blurred images.)

He was not looking at the crows and he was screeching just as loudly toward the center of the tree and then he took flight, perhaps at my sudden appearance.

The 10 or so crows continued to caw in anger and flap their wings, but slowly a few flew away.  I studied the tree and suddenly noticed a HUGE wasp nest.  The shape of a football and three times that size.  Were they angry about a paper wasp nest??  I grabbed the binoculars.

Of course, as I studied with the binoculars I realized it was NOT a wasp nest high up in that tree that was creating such dismay among the feathered ones.

It was a Great Horned Owl. He was resting bored and patient but did give me a bit of a chill when he gave me the evil eye.  This magnificent animal returned on alternate mornings for almost two weeks to sleep sometimes opening his wings slightly on the hottest days and once appeared to have blood on the edge of his wing.  I think when we were planning our canoe trip later and had to load equipment onto the car in the driveway he must have decided to find a quieter roost because I have not seen him for over 5 days.

Still the short visit was a thrill!  Now we are undecided about bringing down that tree.

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