Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Who's Watching Whom

A few days ago, I walked into my office and was halfway to my desk when I spotted a Great Horned Owl looking in my window. I deked to the right to hide behind the drapes. A few seconds later, I leaned to the left and peered out to see if it was still was leaning to the right peering back at me.

I snapped back from view and reached for my camera...but I'd left it in the living room!

Since I didn't want to yell, I whipped out my phone and texted Nelson who was also in the house…

Moments later I heard him padding down the hall. I motioned him to stop before he reached the door and jabbed my finger in the owl's direction. Nelson peered around the corner and his eyes widened. I stepped into view, took the camera, and clicked away at the owl. Behind me, I heard Nelson retreat, and then he returned and I heard him taking pics, too. 

Great Horned Owl, Front View. Source: Nelson Draper

Great Horned Owl, Looking to side. Source: Anita Mae Draper

Great Horned Owl, Looking Back. Source: Nelson Draper

The owl checked out the place for a minute or so, and then turned and hopped away to another branch. This last photo of the owl looking back at us reminds me of a 1950's chenille bedspread due to the unique feather placement. However, when I look at its extended back and down to its feathered legs and sharp talons, I'm reminded more of a wary cat than a comfy bed. As usual, I'm amazed at God's creativity when I see something as special as a Great Horned Owl. By the way, the use of the word, horned, refers to its ear tufts.

Here's a short clip of the owl before and after it had hopped to another branch. If the video doesn't work, you can find it at: 


Of course, this owl encounter has given me ideas about including the scene in a story, similar to how I included the cranes in my novella, Sweet Love Grows. I enjoy adding wildlife to my stories and hope the readers can see that.

Do you have a favorite owl, whether real, virtual, or fiction? Have you had an encounter with one? Care to share? 


Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are woven under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details.  Anita's short story, Here We Come A-Wassailing, was a finalist for the Word Guild's 2015 Word Awards. Her novellas are included in Austen in Austin Volume 1, The American Heiress Brides Collection, and The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. Readers can check out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her stories to enrich their reading experience.  Discover more at:


  1. What a cool encounter! I'm so glad you and Nelson got photos.

    Endangered Digger Owls used to live in an empty lot near my house, guarding their burrows. I thought they were delightful. Alas, they moved on a few years ago.

    1. Ok, technically I guess they're called Burrowing Owls. Sorry for the boo boo!

    2. Susie, I was all set to tell you that your Digger owl sounds like our Burrowing Owl when I saw your 2nd note. :)

      Two hrs west of our farm is The Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre which promotes the conservation of the endangered Burrowing Owl. We saw a few of them in the fields when we lived in Moose jaw and that's when I became aware of them.

      Thanks for dropping by. I'm glad Nels was home to take the pics too. :)

  2. Love the pictures!

  3. I enjoy that you two are sort of competing in the nature photography hobby! I would be so excited to see one! wow. I don't see many. We used to have a tiny owl that came and sat on my clothesline at night, but now I'm getting used to seeing osprey instead. More and more eagles and osprey in the neighborhood, and a bit population of hawks, so maybe I won't see as many owls in the future, either.

    1. I've never seen a small owl, except for the burrowing ones. Oh, and there was that movie once with a little robotic owl. I liked that one but can't remember the movie.

      I saw my first osprey in 2015, and this year alone have spotted half a dozen. I don't know if I'm more aware now, or they're more plentiful. I sure hope they don't take over the habitat of the owls, though.

      Thanks for sharing, Deb.


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