pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Owl and the Pussycats

Yesterday evening I decided to try to photograph the Barn Owl 
who regularly patrols the boundary of our garden.      
I stood next to the big ash tree in the corner
and waited...  
?the same Barn Owl - a photograph I took last year
near the fish ponds opposite Owl Wood.

It was cold and flying insects were feasting on me.
 I could hear the rustle of creatures moving through the wheat field margins.
Rats, I imagined, especially as I had seen a medium-sized one run through the garden earlier.
However, I stuck to my post, determined to get a great photograph.  

Bennie investigating the rustling sounds.

The cats appeared from nowhere and wouldn't leave me.
Sparky performed circus tricks on 
the fence posts while
Bennie sniffed around the garden.
Toby Too watched from the conservatory,
desperate to join in.
I ignored him.

"I can do this standing on my head, watch..."

Eventually even the cats got bored and moved away.
On any normal night the Barn Owl would have flown down one side of the garden,
turned at the big ash tree
and then swooped up and down the wheat field
hunting for supper.

"This is boring, I'm going in."

I gave up after an hour.
I was cold, frustrated, bitten to pieces by those darned insects.

Today, I got up early and
saw to the hens, the cats and the dog
and then made myself a hot drink
and went into the conservatory
to think about the day ahead.

Five minutes later, the Barn Owl suddenly
 flew around  the conservatory,
across the vegetable garden,
past the old summer house
and disappeared into 
Owl Wood!

I borrowed this illustration from the RSPB
'My' owl is much lighter in colour
and every bit as beautiful.

It was amazing.
S/he was no more than six feet away from me,
I got to see her in great detail.
A beautiful bird.

Of course I had no camera to hand.

Happy Monday.


  1. The Spring Watch team have the same problem Elaine. It's called the law of Sod.

    So that's where Mr OW got his name?


    1. Hello LL, So frustrating! I enjoy a challenge - but perhaps I'll borrow the bee-keeper's suit next time.

      Owl Wood took some wonderful photographs of triplet Tawny Owlets which were hatched and successfully fledged in Owl Wood a few years ago...and a star was born!

  2. Some things are just meant to be kept as wonderful memories in our minds.

    1. Hello Pauline, It was a magical moment! Unexpected and thrilling.

  3. You could always try again for another photo but the insect attacks would steer me away. Happy you received your own personal Owl Visit . . .

    1. Hello Lynne, Oh, those pesky insects. I am one of those people who seems to attract them. The owl was amazingly beautiful - and I could so easily have missed seeing it.

  4. Isn't that always the way...there is never a camera to hand to record the most magical of moments.
    Jane x
    PS The cats think that Sparky's fence post trick is awesome!

    1. Hello Jane, Sparky is a real show-off. If she were a child she would bang on a drum, or blow a trumpet just to get attention. Twice now, since my stake-out, I have had amazingly good and very close sightings of the of these days I'll have my specs and the camera with me. I just hope I also have a disc in the camera.

  5. The one day, recently, that I didn't have my camera in my pocket, I was just a few feet from a Pine Marten who was looking down at me and the dogs.

    1. Hello Cro, That must have been so exciting. Maybe on of these days you will see him again.

  6. I think he paid you a visit, so you will try again.

    1. Hello Meggie, You know me so well! I'll keep on trying and one of these days I may succeed!

  7. We have bats in our back garden at dusk - they're impossible to capture on a camera too! Jx

    1. Hello Jan, Aren't they wonderful to watch though! I love the way they seem to lurch about as they snack on those annoying insects.

  8. They are amazing birds. I think it's almost guaranteed when you want you camera most - it isn't there.

    1. Hello Molly, They really are wonderful, and I shall keep on trying. Sometimes it is really nice to just stand and watch, store the image in my memory banks...but one of these days I'll get that photo!

  9. He came by to say sorry he missed you last night. Or, vice versa.

    1. Hello Joanne, I was really relieved to see that he was still about, he is normally so regular in his hunting pattern that I was a little afraid for him. The effort and the bites will be worth it when I capture that image.

  10. How wonderful but that is life as far as the camera is concerned.

    1. Hello Susan, Absolutely! I'm just going to keep on trying and one of these days I may succeed.

  11. You did so well to stand the insects for an hour. I seem to attract them too, and have had more than one trip to A&E with a badly infected bite and a red line travelling up my body before now because of them!
    I'm so pleased the owl paid you a visit. I have only seen one once- we were holidaying on a farm in Yorkshire and there was an owl box. We had been looking at the pellets underneath it ( KL was fascinated by the bits of animal skeleton in them) and set off back across the field when it came out of the box and flew past - an amazing sight.

    1. Hello Scarlet, What a magical moment for you and KL! I keep looking for pellets, because I know that Harry would be fascinated too. Those biting insects seemed determined to feast, my scalp is covered in bites. George rarely gets bitten - probably because each and every one has already feasted on me. Poor you, sounds like you have a really bad reaction to them.

  12. Wildlife photography is very demanding. It drives me nuts trying to get a focused, interesting picture of posing humans--animals are impossible! Keep trying, it has to work eventually.

    1. Hello Ms Sparrow, So true! I'm afraid I am very much a point and click type. Some things work, but most don't, so thank goodness for digital cameras! The other day we came across a muntjac deer - didn't have my camera. Typical!


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