I’ve come to the conclusion that a barn owl couple will not be inhabiting our owl box, erected three years ago, any time soon.
There is no good reason why not.
It’s full of ample room with pine shavings lining the bottom, the type you put in a hamster’s cage. The box faces east, out of the wind and overlooks a stunning silver-green orchard of olive trees through which, at night, must scamper mice and other delicacies that owls so enjoy. Everything that a pair of barn owls needs, awaits them in the box.
Everything but warmth, that is. Heat they must create themselves.
Whether owl or human, we all want to be warm when it is cold, right?
Sounds simple, but in the world of long-term marriages, such an obvious statement can become twisted. I know. Staying warm in our own owl box upstairs has become a topic of
I’ve been nesting with a wise old owl for many years. As he has aged, he has become quirkier and eccentric about certain things but not everything. For example, when served a slice of meatloaf made up of of hamburger, tomato paste, onion soup mix, a non-organic egg, and boxed bread crumbs, he is just fine. No problem thumping the Heinz Catsup bottle, scooting peas, and spearing tater tots. No request for epicurean improvement.
When it comes to getting into a bed with cold sheets (never mind the puffy down comforter resting above those sheets), he grumbles and hoots and has been doing so since he turned 60. “I’m your electric blanket; just be patient and cozy up,” I have suggested.
I’ve also kindly observed that wearing pajamas (or wearing something..since he has become more eccentric) might be a good winter survival plan, but my suggestions have fallen on cold bums.
In his eccentricity, he has feathered our nest with electric blankets, warming mattress pads, and now, this season–a blanket that warms the bed without electric wires. Two red lights with the Number 10 on dual controls tell him his nest is inhabitable.
He settles in and falls asleep rather quickly.
I fly in, dressed for a winter night’s sleep in something commensurate with the temperature outside ( I learned this habit in the Guide to Human Survival), and slip into the heated shavings which could be used to roast marshmellows.
I find the bed is as warm as hot soup.
In the heat of the night, I reach over in the darkness, pat him in all his warmness, and click off my side of the blanket.
There in our mixed-use owl box, we sleep, dreaming that a real barn owl couple will see the same opportunities we have enjoyed in our co-habitation.