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Baby Barred Owl in the Woods

Ran into this baby barred owl on a seldom used trail in the redwood forest yesterday. She was standing on the ground. Must have frozen in fear because she was so still that for fifteen minutes she didn't move at all, not even to blink or perceptibly breathe. I began to think it was a hoax and she must be a stuffed owl left on the trail! But then I tiptoed around her and she quickly swiveled her head, blinked her eyes, puffed out her feathers and clack-clack-clacked her beak. Wow!

I sat down and decided to open to commune with her. Keeping my gaze wide and non-focal, my eyes took in her eyes, with their unfathomable gaze and completely foreign consciousness. A feeling of peace came over me, and I was aware of some completely non-verbal transmission. There was a sense of deep knowing and blessing to have been given this opportunity to sit with a wild baby owl. I felt somehow validated on my path by the spirit world and a spontaneous promise to do what I can to help protect ancient forests as well as plant new forests around the planet welled up in me. It was the least I could offer this precious baby.

After that, I hiked four miles back to the Visitor's Center and told the rangers about the owl. I was worried that maybe she was in danger. Later I learned from some very knowledgeable Tree Sisters that baby barred owls do fall to the ground sometimes before they are ready to fly, but their parents watch out for them and usually they are fine, as long as well-meaning humans don't pick up or try to rescue them. Since all day I only saw three other people on the trail, I figure the owl is okay. Here are a couple pictures to share the blessing of the owl's presence with all of you.

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