Flowers and Owl

Purple owl’s clover (pink flower) and small blue lupine (purple flower)

Wildflowers create
purple, yellow, white brushstrokes
on verdant hillsides.

On Saturday, February 28, David D. and I visited North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve located near Chico, California.  The reserve is known for its annual wildflower display, and it did not disappoint. I hope we can return in the coming weeks to see what new flowers are making their appearance. I would also encourage you to seek out wildflowers in your area when the time is right. There is something magical about seeing a hillside painted in color by a vast number of flowers, particularly ones that have not been planted or tended by human hands.

Disclosure: my wildflower identifications are my best guess.

For scale, David in a field of blue lupine and purple owl's clover.
David in a field of blue lupine and purple owl’s clover.
Kelloggs monkeyflower
Kellogg’s monkeyflower
Poppies - possibly California poppies or frying pan poppies, blue lupine, and purple owls
Poppies – possibly California poppies or frying pan poppies, blue lupine, and purple owl’s clover.
Waterfall on the reserve
Waterfall and landscape of the reserve

Photo credit: David D.
Photo credit: David D.

Nesting great horned owl’s
yellow eye speaks without sound,
‘I am watching you.’

Observing wildlife is one of the chief perks of my internship, and seeing this – my first owl in California – was unforgettable. When that yellow eye fell upon me, I felt my heart jump. I had the sense that the owl was looking straight into my soul, an unnerving and exhilarating experience.

What also struck me was the nest, how well camouflaged it is and how dense the vegetation is around it. I know owls are agile flyers, but to navigate through the needles and branches to this site without rumpling feathers seems impossible. Perhaps the view is more open from above? Or perhaps my raptor nest blueprint needs revising? My framework is based mostly on Michigan bald eagle nests, which are large and obvious from a distance. The great horned owl bird cam in Savannah, Georgia that I have been watching seemed to confirm this would be true for large owls too, but given this nest, I think I must reconsider. Thankfully, this opens a whole new world of possibilities for nest sites!

Great horned owl nest. Photo credit: David D.
Great horned owl nest. Photo credit: David D.
A #WorstBirdPic to show you just how hidden this owl nest is - I promise its in the picture somewhere sort of near the middle.
A #WorstBirdPic to show you just how hidden this owl nest is. I promise it’s in the picture somewhere near the middle.

Frosty Fun Run ChampFrosty Fun Run Champ –
Eight races to test myself.
Bandito Power!

The Frosty Fun Run Championships took place on Saturday, February 28, and I brought home the gold. This was an eight-race, Saturday morning series with courses ranging from 3.7 miles to 5.5 miles. Participating was a fun way to meet community runners – I was the girl the guys didn’t want to lose to – and to test my speed. I joyfully represented The Banditos (I wish “Banditos Represent!” was five syllables), and look forward to running with them in two weeks for the Palmetto 200. Super pumped!

Next chapters revealed.
THE overarching question:
Will it all fall down?

I thought I would address the delay between recent posts: House of Cards, Season Three was released on Friday, February 27, and my discretionary time was immediately prioritized to include one (or three, but who’s counting?) episodes every night. This in addition to running, yoga, and trivia meant blogging would have to wait, but I am glad to be back at it.

One thought on “Flowers and Owl”

  1. I’m envious of all the photo opportunities! What a shot by David of the yellow eye! Awesome! I can just imagine standing under it and having that eye fall on you! Congratulations on the gold! That is great! Can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks here in Clemson!

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