The Great Horned Owl in the pine tree.
This morning, while we were having coffee before work, a Great Horned Owl visited our place. It came very quietly, because I was sitting right by the window and I didn't even notice. But eventually, I knew something different was going on outside because the blue jays started screaming and they wouldn't stop! They were screaming in the pine tree right in front of our house, next to the window we were sitting by, so I started looking around. I was so shocked when I saw that the blue jays were actually trying to dive bomb a huge owl that was calmly just sitting on one of the branches in the tree!
Another close up of the owl in the pine tree.
We watched it perch there and try to ignore the 4 blue jays that were taking turns flying into the poor owl's head! It was under attack! The owl noticed we were watching it and it started watching us too. Then it shifted to another branch once it noticed the quail that came out from the sage bushes (they come out each morning to peck at seed we throw out in front of the bushes). The quail apparently are not afraid of the owl. The quail are very good at spotting predators from very far away, so I'm sure they knew the owl was there. For example, there is a baby hawk that sometimes visits, and tries to hunt the quail. It sometimes perches on a dead tree in the neighbor's yard, which is kind of far away, but they can recognize it's silhouette, and they don't come out when the hawk is watching. But, sometimes the quail also rely on the blue jays to call out when there is a predator around (which they are experts at), but they didn't care about the jays creaming at the owl, I guess. I think the owl must not eat quail.
The owl is looking up at the pesky blue jays.
Romy had to start the truck to warm up before he left for work, so he had to go out the front door, which is under the canopy of the pine tree that the owl was sitting in. We thought that maybe Romy would scare the owl, but the owl just watched him walk out the front door, start the truck, and then point the camera and take a few pictures before going back in! We watched the owl for a few more minutes from inside, but eventually it had enough of the blue jays' attack, and it flew away! Interestingly, we saw it during the day (although it was right after sunrise), which means it was probably just finished with it's early morning hunt.
The owl is looking up at the pesky blue jays.
This is not the first time that a Great Horned Owl has come by here. We heard them hoot-ing almost every night in the summer and fall. One time, while I was hammering shingles onto the roof of the carport, a Great Horned Owl landed on the electric pole about 10 feet away from me. I didn't notice as I was hammering away (and I guess the owl didn't care I was hammering), until it started hooting. I was trying to finish up the last few shingles, so I stayed up there until past sunset, and it was starting to get dark, and thats when I saw it on the pole! Another one was across the street on another pole, and they were hooting to each other. I read that they do that to notify each other that they are about to take the area as their hunting territory. I watched the owl for about 5 minutes, and it was sitting watching me too. But then the sighting ended when the owls had a show down hooting at each other and the one by me flew off at the other one.
The outside x-mas tree is all lit up!
This is our first Christmas at the new house! We've never really decorated much at the places that we rented, but I really wanted to do something cool. The first thing I did over this weekend was put up the multicolored icicle lights along the roof eaves. When we bought the house, there were a bunch of small hooks on the underside of where the roof hangs over. I didn't really know what they were for, but Shelby told me that they were for Christmas lighting. Over the summer, I was using them to hang bird feeders, but now I used them to string the icicle lights up. However, the hooks didn't go all the way around the house, so I went to Home Depot and bought a big pack of the little screw in hooks and finished off the rest of the house.
Once all the icicle lights were done, I had a bunch of left over lights. I got the idea that we should decorate the big pine tree in front of our house instead of having an indoor xmas tree. Plus you can see that tree from all around, so other people will see it all decorated too. When I told Romy my idea, he said I was crazy and that it would not be possible to get up the tree and that it would be a waste of time. But I was super determined!
Can you see me up there?!I'm about 3/4 of the way up.
Not even Romy could discourage me from decorating the tree. I dragged him to the store where I bought a lighted star for the top of the tree. Then I went upstairs to where our rock climbing stuff is in the closet, and pulled out my climbing harness, carabiners, and a bunch of webbing. We put the ladder up the the tree trunk and conveniently, it was high enough (13 feet) to reach the bottom branches. I started climbing, and as I went, I moved the webbing up the truck. There were a lot of strong branches, so I really didn't need the webbing, but it was really nice to have it at the top where I rested and hung off it while I positioned the star at the top.
On my way down.
Once the star was on the top, I connected it to the string of LED lights and threw them down to Romy, who was on the ground ready to start whipping the lights around the tree. It was a lot harder than I thought initially to get the lights to wrap around the tree, but we did the best we could given the branch pattern of the tree. I like how it turned out!
I don't often post on the blog, yet I do enjoy looking back at the entries to see what we were doing. I realize that's only a small glimpse, and it's always Jenn writing. I think I may attempt to write more so in the future there's a more complete story. And so, onward!
What prompted this entry was seeing a Gif of a Star Wars recap. It's that there Gif below.
This got me thinking - the Gif would probably not make too much sense to someone not familiar with the story, but for those who are, it's cute. I used to watch the original Star Wars movies often. I read many of the books, played video games, just generally immersed myself in another world. It took me away to a fantasy realm where ridiculously neat things were possible. I liked going there, even if for a short time, and I thought I would always have the same obsession or draw to it; I thought it a permanent thing. But I haven't watched it now in years. I still know the story, the characters, the plots, and, in the better stories, the double meanings ans symbolism. I've tried to revisit it actually. I read a novel somewhat recently, but the magic I had known previously was lost. I really tried to get into it, but the story was just not consuming.
When I was younger, I could never understand certain older folk who took little interest in new movies; it was all the same thing they would say. They'd seen it before. I couldn't believe them at that time - how could you have seen a new movie before? But I realize now they were right. New movie, but a rehash of an old story. Let the mild gloating commence from those certain older folk.
And so what this Gif that I just watched has done for me is made me realize (or re-realize and cement) that life keeps moving on. It's a progression. And I don't think it's a good thing to stagnate in one stage of it for too long. Progress onward, find new things, learn stuff and try stuff. I guess everything really is temporary if your timescale is long enough.