I was sitting on the couch reading a good book, around 9:30 at night, when a loud bang startled Dorrie (my dog) and myself. Something had hit the patio door about ten feet away, and hit it hard. In the gentle glow of the lamp, the two of us tiptoed over to see what had happened. Had it been an errant icicle? Doubtful. Icicles usually just drop straight down. A snowball from a strange and mischievous neighbor? I hoped not.

Together we peered through the dark window, and there it was…

A little owl. It was so tiny, about 6 or 7 inches high, and it stared up at me with big, black eyes like marbles and dark feathers (I’ve yet to come across a picture or a type of owl that really fits what I saw). It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I dashed off to find my husband and mother, so they could see it and so they could help me figure out what to do with a potentially injured bird. By the time they showed up, the little owl was gone. I felt both relieved and happy for it and terribly sad, wishing I’d spent another five seconds looking at the little guy, or gal.

It was a mystical experience for me. Though this isn’t the first wild animal I’ve seen (there have been many over the years, but more than usual lately). This fall I saw a huge buck about to run into the road before turning back into the safety of the woods. It was deer season and I said a little prayer that the beautiful creature would survive. I also spotted a pheasant at the same spot twice, on different days. The other day a fox darted across the road in front of the car. This was in the morning, an unusual time to see one. On a different day I had to wait while a flock of wild turkeys hung out in the road.

After this latest influx of animals, I’m starting to feel a bit like Snow White.

Anyway, I thought I’d share my brush with nature with you simply because it was so amazing to me, and because I think such experiences will become rarer and rarer – sadly. When I tell people about the owl, they aren’t nearly as impressed as I was, but if you’d seen the little thing and its wise, yet innocent eyes staring up at you, I believe you would have been equally touched. I just hope little owlie is okay, and remembers next time that there’s a house here.