Tag Archives: barred owl

Chloë Finds Familiar Faces

Donna’s back!

Maybe things are finally loosening up. For months, the only people I saw were Mike and Heather. Caroline, David and Schatzi stopped by once. That’s about it.

Then, lo and behold, things begin to awake. Heather and I encountered my favorite UPS driver on the street one day. Donna had been away several months with an injury, but she’s finally back on our route and still carrying bickies.  I am hoping Mike and Heather keep ordering a lot of stuff online.

Then my favorite house cleaners, Jeré and Channon, made their return, and believe me, as someone who’s down on the floor of this house a lot, their return came not a moment too soon. Heather is a meticulous cleaner, I  have observed over the past several weeks, but she’s not a professional like Jeré and Channon are. They know all the secrets. And beyond that, not only did I get my usual quota of treats from them while they were here, but they also left a few extra ones to make up for the times they couldn’t come since February.

Chloë ‘s pals return from pandemic leave.

There were a couple of other returns of note.  I finally got to see my old pal Penny, who has been quarantined at her house since returning from Florida in March. Now she has a little dog named Phoebe living with her until she goes to New York in another week or so. All that flying! I’ll miss seeing all my Syracuse friends this summer, but you’re not getting me on an airplane any time soon.

The owl returns.

Another return was the threatening barred owl to her favorite local haunts among the tall trees of Discovery Park.  She has stalked us for several years, and this time she swooped down on Heather and me when we got a little too close to her youngster, perched on an overhanging branch nearby. There have been many other owl sightings in the area, but we’ve seen her just one other time, and Junior wasn’t visible. We’ll keep looking, though.

Chloë Walks on the Wild Side

My pack started off the new year with a walk at Seward Park on Lake Washington. Since it was a rainy Sunday afternoon and the Seahawks were playing football on TV, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. My pal Charlie came with us, and when we first drove into the parking lot, I dragged him away from the car towards the lake before Mike had gotten out of the car. That’s how we just happened to be passing the spot where a woman had just pulled her elderly  Newfoundland from the water with the help of  a kindhearted passerby.

Charlee Bears

Charlee Bears

As the woman struggled to lead the stumbling wet dog away, I alerted Charlie that she had left her iPhone behind on the shoreline. Charlie yelled, “Excuse me, is this your phone?” and she ran back to get it while Mike and Heather talked to her dog. She was very grateful, but unfortunately she did not give me any reward, not even one lousy Charlee Bear.

A previous meeting

A previous sighting

And that wasn’t even my most exciting walk of the week! Longtime readers may remember my earlier tete a tete  with a barred owl that frequents Discovery Park, and we had heard reports that he and his aggressive ways had returned. We finally ran into him last week in his usual roost near the Visitors’ Center. Heather noticed him eyeing me, and we decided to throw elsewhere, without incident.

But this week, two times Mike and I were minding our own business, playing fetch on Chloë’s Lane, when he swooped in out of nowhere, catching my eye and trying to taunt me into dropping my ball and charging at him with a barrage of barks. The first time it happened Mike got nervous, and we fled the scene after a measly dozen throws.  We returned to the same spot the next day, and after Mike decided the coast was clear, we were up to about 30 throws when the owl swooped in and perched on an alder tree about 10 feet above the trail. As the owl watched me, Mike moved closer and snapped a photo. Then the owl left its perch and flew down even closer, flapping his entire 5-foot wingspan so violently that we could feel the breeze on our heads.

Owl stalks Chloë

The owl that stalked Chloë

Mike yelled at the bird and waved his arms around to scare it, and the owl flew off to a another nearby alder, where he again sized me up as a potential dinner engagement. Mike had seen enough, however, and he called me to follow him towards the front of the Headquarters Building. I wasn’t about to argue, but at the same time, I did not at all think this would be my last encounter with this dirty bird.

Chloë Gets a Hoot

Mr. Owl

Mr. Owl

A barred owl buzzed us again last week, and in practically the same spot in the park where it happened the last time. I think it was last spring, but I’m not sure.  This time, Mike had his camera. Heather thinks this was the same owl as last time, but Mike isn’t so sure. I like Heather’s story better.

The waiting is the hardest part

The waiting is the hardest part

As we approached, unaware of his presence, the owl left its perch and flew just above our heads and landed on a slightly higher branch. Then he stayed there for quite a while as we watched from below. Several other walkers, joggers and bikers passed underneath him, and he checked out all of them, pivoting his neck around with nothing but his eyes moving. He was still there when we got tired of sitting  around and walked away uphill.  He had clearly decided I was too heavy to carry away, especially with two brave bodyguards to protect me.

Heather took me back to that spot on our walk the next morning to see if he was still there, but Mr. Owl was no longer lurking in the vicinity. Based on the number of little critters that my nose detects around there, I expect he’ll be back.