Late yesterday afternoon, the wind was whipping up as a storm prepared to move in. Halee called to say there was an owl hanging out in the slough and did I know what kind it was? So I braved the bitter wind and headed down the street.
Sure enough, only ten feet or so away from the road, a large barred owl was perched on a post. She seemed quite unafraid of me and allowed me to get fairly close. She stared straight into my eyes, looked up into the sky, down into the water, and turned her head nearly 180 degrees. I was enthralled. This is the same kind of owl that I drew into my Hermit card. We hung out together for about fifteen minutes before she lifted her enormous wings and silently, stately flew back to the edge of the woods.
This morning I walked down to my secret spot, which I have woefully neglected over the summer. The sun was bright, the air crisp and cold. And the woods were full of ‘shrooms. I must have counted a dozen different kinds. Huge ones with burgundy caps and white stems. Tiny ones, the color of Tupelo honey. Upturned ones that looked like funnels, with rainwater collected in the caps, perfect places for birds and other critters to take a drink.
I went over to the old rotting boat that was the cradle for the heron of my Death card. I wanted to see if it was still there and how it had changed. Sure enough, the carcass had rotted away to bare bones, but there were a couple of new surprises. The skeleton of a smaller bird – a duck I believe, from the long neck — was laid next to the heron, and in the deep grass below it was the skull of a large animal like a big dog. I’m not up enough on my skulls to know right off what it was, but it had a large incisor tooth. I think it was too big to be a coyote.
I love the mystery of this — someone is definitely laying animal bones to rest in this old, decaying boat. I don’t know who is doing it, but I recognize the impulse to honor the animals. And in this season of the Crone, with coyotes yipping at the full moon and Owl coming right down to the roadway, I honor those bones and feathers too. Namaste.