Sometimes when you experience an illness or you are caring for someone else who is sick, time as you know it stops and you find yourself dancing to an unfamiliar pace and rhythm. But you also find yourself with more opportunities to stop, rest, notice your surroundings and get your bearings. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right music station.
Last night, I found one of those opportunities and it was nothing short of magical for me. It was one of those rare nights in Fl where the nights are cooler than the days so our windows were flung open. With the windows open the night came in. The moon was sweet. I mean that its light tasted sweet to me. No longer full the glow still filled the yard and spilled into our room. The first sound of the evening that came forward from the crickets and occasional frog was the Chuck wills widow, from the Nighthawks and Nightjar family (Caprimulgidae) …strange name with a strange, haunting and almost lonely sound. The bird calls its name over and over. Distant at first and soft, growing to a very loud call as it flew and landed closer to our window. After awhile the call stopped and picked up again farther and farther away. When we could no longer make it out I thought I heard the distinct call of an Eastern Screech-Owl, a whistled trill on one pitch…very romantic and soothing. I wonder if it was a call to a mate. Like the bird before, the call faded and for a moment I thought I heard the wind. Then an old resident spoke up, our Great Horned Owl. I could tell from the volume that this bird was in the distance and not in his usual roost in the slash pine behind our house. This bird was also alone. At dusk we are accustomed to hearing them call to one another.