Or: Will a lifetime quest fraught with frustration finally come to fruition at HCNC?
By Ken De Laat
Photos courtesy of NorthernIslander News & Beaver Beacon
I have had this thing about owls for as long as I can remember.
Granted, there are days when what I had for breakfast seems beyond ‘as long as I can remember’ yet fortunately when it comes to certain areas my Hippocampus comes through with frightening regularity,
But I digress. Back to owls.
We recently received a press release from our friends at Howard Christensen Nature Center, a very cool place if you’ve never been, about a program they call Owl Prowl.
This was hugely coincidental (or perhaps not) since I have been suffering through a recent severe bout of owl envy.
You see, though I’ve been on this earth since Truman was president I have never seen an owl.
At least not in the wild.
Oh I’ve encountered them at zoos and such but never have I met one in the wild. I recall as a kid on summer vacation everyone at the Paradise Hollow resort saw the owl that was hanging around.
Except me. Try as I might to prowl the spotting area after dark I never caught a glimpse of the elusive member of the strigiform family.
I’ve been camping when owls were spotted by others, as well having similar experiences in the suburban area we lived when our kids were younger and then lakeside the past couple of decades. People mention seeing them and I try going to the spot later only to experience disappointment once again.
Then after not really thinking about it much in recent years, this past several weeks the folks on the Newaygo County Bird Watching site (another cool place) began posting pix of snowy owls and bringing back my thoughts of the yet to be attained bucket list item.
And a few days later, as if Anthus himself was perpetuating my owl angst, my son and even my grandchildren witnessed the arrival of a Snowy near their Beaver Island home. The island news source, the NorthernIslander News & Beaver Beacon began pictorially chronicling the visit by this winged and wise beauty. I often miss the island and relish our trips there but these photos made me pine for a quick return.
But alas there are responsibilities and commitments keeping me on the mainland for the near future.
Then I heard about the HCNC program.
Friday January 21st.
Here’s the skinny.
Owl Prowl 2022 is coming January 21st at the Howard Christensen Nature Center. Naturalist Greg Swanson will introduce you to owl biology, starting indoors at 6pm with a presentation on owls and then heading outdoors to see if he can call one in to say hello.
The outdoor portion is for ages 10 and up. There will be free child care and crafts indoors for the younger set.
There is a cost for both members and nonmembers of Howard Christensen Nature Center. Members are $3 per person or $10 for a family of 4 or more. Non-members are $5 per person or $15 for a family of 4 or more.
Please check out the website for additional information -www.howardchristensen.org
Now given the apparent propensity these winged wonders have for avoiding me I will have to ponder whether to risk attending and putting a jinx on Mr. Swanson’s efforts to call one in. After all, I am certain there will be kids there with their families and all.
But with such an opportunity awaiting, I gotta tell you…
I’m leaning toward going.
“Perhaps he does not want to be friends with you until he knows what you are like. With owls, it is never easy-come-easy-go.”- T.H. White, The Sword in the Stone
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