Aug. 29, 2017

Night Life in the Bush

Days are hot, tipping past 80 most days. Evenings are cool, dropping into the 40’s. Winter is coming… 

An epic battle…

Lying in bed, the cool night breeze gently drifted thru our open bedroom window.  An owl hoots, breaking the silence of the night. It’s right outside our window in a large birch across the yard. His hoot is low and mesmerizing as if he is cooing us a lullaby. I am curious to see why he has chosen our birch as a roost tonight. I crawl out of the warm covers and grab the flashlight, heading out the front door in stealth mode so I don’t scare the great owl off. 

As I stand on the front porch, sweeping the area with the light in my hand, I hear the low deep whoosh of owl wings taking flight into the darkness just beyond the reach of my flashlight. Thinking I had missed catching a glimpse of him, I turned off the light and stood silently listening to the sounds of the forest surrounding our little homestead. The moonlight gently bathed the tree line creating a peaceful serene setting.

The yowl of a lynx suddenly pierced the still of the night.  It caught me off guard and my heart quickened a bit as he was very nearby!  A lynx! Silent stealth predators of the northern forests, rarely seen or heard, here was one right in the edge of our forest.   Screeching and yowling noises filled the night, ending the silence I was enjoying.  A great scuffle ensued just beyond the reach of my moonlit vision in the deep darkness of the woods. 

As I listened with excitement, I was thinking the lynx was moving awfully fast as the yowling and screeching quickly moved from my far left to my far right, just beyond the reach of my vision. There was a great battle going on and all I could do was stand there and listen, straining my eyes to try and see the carnage. As quickly as it had begun, a loud high pitched yowl from the lynx sent chills down my spine and then there was silence. Only the wind gently blowing thru the tree tops.

I stood there in the chill of the night, hoping to find the end of the story, but to no avail.  I returned to bed, wondering who had won; the great owl or the lynx? Or was it a draw? I smiled and tucked the memory away, drifting off to sleep in the cool chill of another August Alaskan night…