Snowy owl by Justine Kibbe
Barred Owl in Marshy Woods by Justine Kibbe
Barred owl 4-27-18 J Kibbe

Bike Path entrance, Fishers Island. Over the last years this small pond has become increasingly familiar habitat to a host of “residents.” A foraging spot for Great egret and muskrat, a look out spot for alert Osprey, a chiming in spot for Bull frogs, and here; a spot in the morning sun for a young Barred owl.

– A video snippet from the field taken by Justine Kibbe April 27, 2018.

As I headed out this morning I had one thought. It wasn’t to hurry up and monitor Chocomount, Isabella, and South beaches. It was more humbling.

A proper Thank You sent to the Universe.

“I am so grateful for the solitude and beauty of this Island and many sacred moments of Nature that are quietly shared with me.”

I was to acknowledge that I love what I do.

After surveying the day’s appointed sites, I heeded the “You are welcome” and went on my own “walk-about”. When I got out of the car I left the camera behind  thinking I am off work now…even though that still voice(that same one that found Officer Kushigian’s  jumper! ) told me to “Bring the camera”.

I walked for almost an hour, thinking about the Christmas Bird Count and how much I learned- but that day, we didn’t see the Snowy Owl that folks spoke of. The tide today was extremely low so I looked down a lot searching for sea glass….

Then I looked up.

Met face to face with the sacred moment for which I had thanked a couple of hours beforehand.

“Forgive me for not listening and taking the camera”

The wind gusts were picking up to 30mph, the skies turning dark and gray.

I turned abruptly around and walked all the way back to the car grabbed the camera and walked all the way back.

Like walking across the Alaskan tundra again.

I didn’t run or cheat and take a shortcut-I peacefully asked for patience and the opportunity to share my passion for these moments of Nature’s Spirit.

The Snowy Owl

I remembered the elder Aleuts in the Pribilofs speaking of this majestic messenger of wisdom, intuition, and as a symbol for “winds of change”.

We both acknowledged our own presence in the company of eachother.

“You are lovely”, I said softly.

I don’t often speak when I am out in the field.

It just happened.