Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Above is a detail of "Barn Owl in the Churchyard" that I shamelessly lifted from my book, THE WORLD OF ROBERT BATEMAN. I hope he does not come after me for copywrite infringement. I had a limited editon of this one in my hands, but not enough cash in my pocket at the time. Of course I regret passing up the purchase now. But I digress.

Weaver of Grass  inspired me to dig in my files and bring out my owl poem. Thanks, Weaver for your powerful poem posted today. Here is mine---


Dark boughs of old evergreens
Shelter the stones that mark bone homes.
Somewhere deep in the trees
Is a great gray owl.
He watches the night with moon eyes.
Down below rodents know he is there.
Often his baritone question
Gives them a scare.
A few have felt wind from his wings
As he quietly gathers another beside them.
Still every night they scurry and search
In the grasses and weeds.
One moment they’re munching a seed.
The next instant silently gone.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I finally took some time to travel north up the hill.

The trip takes a little over an hour and is on a two-lane road which, at this time of year, is usually iced over.

The ice and snow does not slow down the big trucks much. If one of us slipped my little Subaru would not have a chance.

My destination is a state park where Trumpeter Swans spend the winter. Every time I have made the trip in the snow I have seen swans.

There are groomed trails for cross-country skiing.

I do not skate along and flit through the woods with the athletes, but chug down the track—not really skiing –more just stomping along on sticks. This time I am even less adventurous because I am carrying my precious camera.

The swans are easy to find. First go to the river and then listen. In the winter the big birds are less territorial and gather in flocks in shallow areas to feed.

Their calls and honks can be heard from far off especially when they are landing and departing.

They are magnificent. Well worth the intimidating trip.