Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Long-eared Owl

Marton Mere, Blackpool

Even in the after-shock of frost and fallen leaves,
even though we know they're there,
we need to ask a local birder
- and even he takes a while to point them out
amongst the willow, thorn and apple thicket,
And finally our scopes fine-tune a passage
through the tangled epidermis
to where they perch, like hearts in ribs,
where the frost has scarcely reached.
Each tucked close to the aorta of its tree,
each in plumped feathers
that copy the colours of bark in changing light,
each with ears folded down,
not even offering a frozen stare,
until the one in the apple tree,
the one most exposed,
lifts its ear tufts, unfreezes, glares
to agree the distance between it
and us. And us? All of us comply.

Another photo by David J Slater. Click to view it full sized. Don't forget to follow the link in the side bar to his site of beautiful images.


Crafty Green Poet said...

you've described the camoflage beautifully in this, I love also the aftershock of frost. I've never seen a long eared owl...

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love this carol. Why are we all so very fascinated with owls? I love the way your poem has made the owl disappear into the background - very subtle.

Mistlethrush said...

Hi Ladies - thanks for the comments. Maybe the fascination with owls is that we don't see them that often, or certainly I don't.

Dave King said...

This is magical - the aorta of the tree: wonderful. Dare I hope for more like this? Thanks.

Mistlethrush said...

You dare indeed!

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.