Last night there were two owls with two distinctive voices calling for hours in the night. They were in the big tree-house tree outside the kitchen door. This tree is close to my bedroom too, I opened the window so I could hear them call in and out of my dreams. They both used the same range of notes in the same order but one was bell-like in the ( kind of) A minus range and one in ( maybe) a middle C range with a smaller triller sound except that last note that drifts into a sad lilting minor chord.

Why does the word ‘dreams’ describe the uncoordinated uncontrolled images that play into our sleeping heads plus the same word is also used for our aspirations and carefully thought through plans. “I have always dreamed of having a little farm” is not the same as the choppy dreams I have of flying from the top of the barn in a graceful arc to a lake that was never there. Or my dreams of connecting with wild animals – walking with wolves or owls at the window. Wake up! wake up!

I am not afraid of owls anymore. Now that they have invaded my dreams.

Mr Flowers is up in the barn recovering, I hope, after an altercation with Boo.

One thing farming has taught me is that no incident has only one reason or answer. Most accidents or events are the result of a perfect storm of small incidents or conditions.

A. I was not there to keep Boo in check.

B. Mr Flowers has taken to stalking Boo lately and flying at him.

C. Boo has become increasingly vigilant about guarding a pigs food from the birds.

Then D. the trigger – something totally unrelated to the skirmishes between Mr Flowers and Boo: Wai tried to fight Tima ( through the fence of her new home) and got his tusks caught in the fence. Wai was screaming, John was shouting at Wai to stay still while he wielded wire cutters trying cut the fence to release the potbelly, Ton was circling and whining in horror, Tima was roaring and trying to get at Wai from the other side of the fence and the peacock got too close to the frey. Boo reacted to John’s shouts for help, the bucket of feed was unguarded and he attacked.

John did not see what happened but I think Boo heeled the big bird. Literally bit at the birds heels to move him along. Not good. Now the peacock is hopping – one injured leg and one wing not tucked in properly. So Boo must have attacked from the side.

Yesterday Mr Flowers spent the day sitting quietly under the tractor – food and water within easy reach. And last night when I did my last check I found that he had flown up into the top of the barn to perch awkwardly in his usual sleeping spot. This afternoon he was in another spot up high in the barn.

Let’s hope Mr Flowers stays up there while he recovers. It is cold which is good -no flies – he has blood on his injured leg. And it is easy for me to feed and water him up there away from predators – Boo being one of them. And the peacock is moving about on his one good leg – so I can only wish for the best now.

From now on Boo stays in the truck or inside the house during feed time when John is in charge. This is an old rule, that I have re-read aloud. Boo is tricky to manage when the buckets are out for reasons A, B and C. This was terrible luck but at least now my co-worker will be more aware that he has to have Boo in full control and when there is trouble – lock the dogs down first- in the truck, in the house or leashed, John always wondered why I did this – now he knows.

Let’s hope Wai does not try to fight Tima through the fence again. The first time he got his tusks stuck in the fence was the day before this incident and I literally held Boo by his collar while I cut the pig free with my other hand. Boo is high maintenance.

But what a kafuffle.

I leave in a week for my longest trip home in years. I will be there for a month. And I will take you with me!

We will know if Mr Flowers is going to be ok by then. But birds are pretty resilient if we leave them to themselves to recover. I learnt that from The Duke.

Talk soon


26 Comments on “TWO OWLS

  1. Our owl is back as well — we heard him last night as we stood on the front porch waiting for the dogs to do their business before bed. It’s such a lovely, haunting sound; the soft hooting of an owl. I was happy to hear him again; its been a few years since he was around. Or maybe she… why do I think of owls as male? Hmmm. And glad Mr. Flowers was not injured worse and hope that he heals up. And, yes, good that it is cold so no flies.

  2. In the summer when I go out to lock up my chickens at dusk, there is an Eastern Screech Owl that calls. Sometimes from the woods to the north, sometimes to the west of the house. I look forward to my conversations with it in the evening. I don’t hear them around here once the leaves drop and the weather turns cold and look forward to the return in the spring.
    I’m sorry about Mr. Feathers. Sometimes dogs react against our best judgement. One of mine ignores the birds, the one that couldn’t catch one if his life depended on it chases them, so birds and dogs can’t be out together. This is for the dog’s sake. he is an 8 year old English Mastiff with sore hips and an enlarged heart and the chase is not good for him.

  3. Wheew! Is that how you spell letting out your breath after holding it a long while? That is a kafuffle! I would have been in quite the panic with all that. I hope Mr. Flowers mends before you leave too. Creatures are interesting and often difficult. Glad there were no other injuries. Only one month to go. Wow!

  4. Wow! Trouble in River City! Boo a problem? the Boo of the past, mother to all animals? Book recommendation: Wesley the Owl; happy holidays to all of us!

  5. Oh my, I can imagine the chaos. Percy has gotten his tusks caught a few times. Unfortunately the fence is made of cattle panels, you need a bolt cutter to cut through them so I had to brace myself against Percy’s backside and push him towards the fence and then risk my fingers and actually unhook his tusk. Amazing how the screaming immediately stops and the victim saunters away as if nothing happened. I do hope Mr. Flowers recovers, I just think how Eli gazes longingly through the fence at the chickens, being a Wirehair Pointing Griffon it’s his very instinct to find and point game birds. I don’t think he’d hurt them but I’m pretty sure he’d pick one up and retrieve it to my hand. I just don’t think the chicken would care for that!

  6. Your owls’ calls sound much cooler than our’s… which resembles a dull telephone engaged signal but is a beautiful bird. Dealing with the dog first is something we have to remember too, they so closely pick up our cues but sometimes process them in ways known only to them.

  7. I had a small beech tree outside my bedroom window as a child, open at night summer and winter (even with frost on the inside). A Little Owl used to visit it occasionally to digest its latest catch, which meant I regularly hear it call and often found the pellets under the tree next day. I shall be leaving for our 3 week trip away shortly after you come back, but I’ll be taking you and the Farmy with me too, folded up safely inside my laptop.

  8. Lovely to have farmy update despite the contents. Hope Mr Flowers is on the road to recovery. Speaking of recovery you certainly need a good long holiday to recover from your unbelievable working regime. Will miss hearing farm tales but look forward to travel tales, you do it so well. Relax and enjoy. You relax? Ha ha.

  9. Ahh, NOW I get it… The ‘Clown Suit’ is a Carhart winter/ insulated coverall & jacket! Oh yes, I definitely get it!! Glad you’re not afraid of the owls anymore. Hope Mr. Flowers makes a complete and speedy recovery and too bad about BooBoo’s break. I can just imagine the mayhem especially after having been in the relative quite of Town for those few days. Never rains but it pours, hey C?:/
    Thinking of you all… Happy New Year

  10. It sounds like Wai got brave with a fence to protect him. Poor Mr Flowers and in some respects poor Boo, who probably thought he was doing his duty.

  11. Yes what a kafuffle! I hope Mr Flowers recovers, and poor Boo too. Your right you have to be one step ahead with some dogs, we have had Dobermans over the years and while they are lovely funny friendly dogs, they are also hard work and need preempting on some occasions, but the best laid plans and all that.

  12. you know the ‘nod’ when you hear or read a story? Me – now….. Hubs didn’t kennel the dogs one morning when feeding – dog fight – blood drawn…. now he understands the why. (They only fight when FOOD & Hubby is involved…… never if I am at home…. )

  13. Oh my that definitely was a kerfuffle! A whole month away? How exciting and wonderful for you and your far away family!

  14. Amusing story, though not to the participants. Hope your co-worker didn’t get a note put into his file. Greartphotographs!

  15. Such little things each by themselves until the trigger moment and things happen no one wants. Poor Mr. Flowers, I hope he heals well and quickly. Smoky was a very reactive dog, Charlie was twice his size but that didn’t stop Smoky attacking him for no reason we could find, It was harrowing when it happened and trying to get two dogs biting each other apart was no fun at all and fortunately no one else got bitten, but I still had two wounded dogs to deal with. On rare occasions Smoky would get snappy with us and end up closed in the powder room till he calmed down. I do believe he was not mentally stable, none of my other dogs over the years even acted that way.
    I’m sure you’re looking forward to your trip, always lovely to be with family.
    I think you’ve got a pair of owls that are courting, it’s about the right time for that. We had a pair at the house but not here, not enough trees for them and too much pavement. It’s only a few blocks from the house but very different environment.

  16. Oh I’m glad you won’t be anywhere near those terrible fires! Such tragic loss of life. Hope everything is calm during your absence. And hope you have a wonderful time and that the weather is lovely. I’m sorry to hear about Mr. Flowers! Such an unfortunate confluence of events! I’m reading a book called “A Gentleman in Moscow” and this seems to be the theme of the book.

  17. A month! Wow, I will miss your reports on the animals, the farm, and the mill. Oh well…I’m sure you deserve the vacation!

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