Wilson Post Blogs
Our Feathered Friends - May 30
Thursday night just happened to be one of those special times that makes sitting outside worth while. There were no mosquitoes to interrupt my train of thought. With all the lightning bugs coming up out of the grass, it took me back a few years ago to one of my Owl Prowls at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park.
It was a little before dark and my crowd of campers were already chomping at the bit to have a little nocturnal fun. We took the road up to the Group Lodge, took a right turn over to the edge of the woods where I was preparing to work some emotional magic to pull a Screech Owl out of the woods and hope that everyone could catch a look at it. Most of our birds live in territories where the sound of an interloper will justify a response. We saw about three or four Owls before returning back to the camp store.
On the road back to civilization, there were probably over a million lightning bugs all over the place. It was so bright that we all turned off our flashlights and walked back just using the light from their tails. I have only seen that one time, and it was way cool.
If it wasn't for the Owls, I might not be a bird watcher. There is a special love for the species that goes all the way back to the early 1970s. The late William Senter loaned me a plastic record of bird calls which I transcribed onto an 8-track cassette. All four species of Owls were on a track by themselves. It seemed to take forever, picking up the needle while pausing the recorder and doing a total of 15 minutes for each track.
My old 1959 Pontiac Station Wagon had been attacked several nights by someone trying to break in and steal my Craig player. I removed the glove box and wired the player inside where it couldn't be seen. Out of sight, out of mind, was the way I looked at it.
We started our first Owl Prowl behind Greenbriar Lake on Cedar Grove Road off Coles Ferry Pike. After playing the Barred Owl Call, all we could hear was Old Blue, barking off in the distance. Suddenly the dog got quiet and there was a sound that would put chills up and down our spine coming from the tall trees around the lake. "Who Who Who Who, Who Who Who Who-All". I was in love! The next day, Bill was on the radio with Coleman Walker telling everyone about our trip out in the woods.
Liz Rhoton and Terry Bottom stopped by my place last night to hash over old memories. I took them camping at Cedars of Lebanon a few years ago and had them cleaning the Dixon Merritt Trail where hikers could navigate the whole trail without short cuts. They had a ball.