'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Friday, 10 September 2010

Give a Hoot


Yesterday late afternoon I decided I wanted to get a photo of some 'critter' in my garden to go on a post.
As I walked out the back door armed with my camera I noted that it was an early dusk due to the thick cloud. Should I check out the compost bin for worms or centipedes? Or maybe I'd find one of those iridescent blue-green ladybirds on the orange tree. Or ... I paused ... what was that noise? Ah. There it was again. The sound of my childhood early spring nights: "more-pork, more-pork". I craned my head to look up into the thick foliage of the strawberry tree and just as I did a silent object landed and I saw the characteristic squat shape silhouetted against the sky. I fumbled to turn on the camera and hesitated, then decided to take the risk and use the flash. At least I'd get one shot. To my amazement this dear little New Zealand owl merely regarded me calmly and allowed me to change lenses and even take two more shots. I think it was looking forward to a good night's hunting as it kept looking over its shoulder with that wonderful swivel neck. I'm sure I can't have done its night vision any good, but I'm very grateful for its forbearance.




4 comments:

  1. Nice photo! It is so nice when an animal actually cooperates and lets you take its photo. My experience is that an animal will wait until you have just changed your lens and then bugger off right as you try to focus.

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  2. Oh Katherine. How absolutely fantastic, wonderful and as many other similar adjectives that you can think of. I have Moreporks in the trees around me (in NZ, of course) and I've never managed to see one properly never mind photograph one. It's like the Bellbird in the tree next to the Cottage - I know it's there but I never see it). I'd so love to be that privileged. You have managed yet again to come up with a really stunning and interesting post.

    OK I'm coming back down to earth.

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  3. I love owls, and this is a handsome one.

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