Monday, January 7, 2013

Did I Hear The Owl Call My Name?

Back in the 70's there was a best selling book by Margaret Craven titled I Heard The Owl Call My Name. I had a copy. I thought the book was fantastic. It was the story of a young priest sent to minister to a native village in British Columbia, not knowing that he has a terminal illness.
The title of the book comes from a Kwakiutl belief that death is imminent when one hears the owl call one's name.

Early this morning I could hear a great-horned owl hooting from the big tree next door. I tried unsuccessfully to spot it by looking out the window. I went outside to try seeing it which is when I heard another owl in the tree across the street. Shortly after I took a picture of that owl (in the middle of the photo if you can spot it), the owl from the tree in back of us came swooping toward the one in this picture. This owl flew away and owl number one took over the tree.

In the meantime, a third owl was hooting from the distance toward the southeast. I never saw the third owl, but I did see the beautiful moon in its last quarter, shining away in the dark sky as the sun was turning the horizon pink.

I have long wondered why it is only during the cold months that I hear the owls hooting. It is true here and it was that way on the farm. The owls hardly ever came up around the buildings in the warm weather, but as soon as it got cold in the fall of the year I would begin hearing them almost every night. Are they searching for food? Does it have something to do with their nesting cycle?

Whatever the reason, I just love hearing them - and early this morning, seeing them.


  1. I remember living in the little house and I could swear that every night I heard the owl call my name... "Preston...hoo hoo...Preston...hoo...hoo"
    Scared the jazeebies out of me...of course it was easy to do when I was so young.


    1. I doubt you read the book yourself, but maybe you read the title and I told you the belief about dying. I know how easy it is to imagine things when you are young.
      I suppose the owl was in one of those big old pines in the front yard.
      'The Little House' was my favorite of all the places I've lived. Great memories!

  2. I think you have it remembered correctly. :)