With the monotony of routine, I pull on the door to the garage, twisting my fingers to turn the lock and shut it behind me, my other hand pushing the garage door opener. Skirting husband pretty car, I open the door to my Smart, tossing my purse and phone onto the passage seat, I clamber on inside, my lower back screaming obscenities at me. Engine on, heated seat on garage door fully open, I pull the car door closed and grab the seatbelt and click it closed. Sliding gearshift into drive, I look up and I spot her. She is perched on the frosty lawn of the neighbors next door, her fuzzy head jerkily turning in every direction. Leaving the car running, I hunt for my phone in the mess of the car seat with one hand while attempting to undo the seatbelt with the other. Phone found I try to slide from the car without drawing attention to myself. She, of course, spots me the moment I start to stand. We are at an impasse, both of us staring, neither of us moving. Feeling bolstered by the bubbles of excitement coursing through me, I raise the phone that serves as my camera up to take a shot. And in the time it take me to move my eye off her and onto the lens, she is off. Up into the air, over the sticks that were once a green and leafy fence, across the snow-specked yard and into her tree.
Smiling, I turn and get back into the car, the tediousness of my routine invigorated, I drive out of the garage, fumble with the garage door closer and drive up and around to the front of the house. Slowing as I get to the spot she and Mr. Owl spend their days, I spot her. She is perched branch of the large tree, out in the open, not hiding behind the branches of the evergreen, as they are prone to do. I quickly stop the car and again try to subtly sneak a picture, buzzing the window down, raising the camera to my eye. With a jerk of her head in disdain, she spreads her wings and makes the short flight into the cover of the evergreen. Window up, my mood a whole lot brighter I drive slowly by her, smiling at her as she watches me leave, perched a few branches apart from her mate, something I’ve not seen before. They are too concealed in the branches and my phone is too inferior for a picture. I watch them for a moment, letting the encounter wash the residual of boredom from me. Freshly motivated all life can be, I drive off leaving the Mr. and Mrs. safe in the cover of their tree.
Sunday, I check the lawn carefully as I drive out of the garage. It is empty of Owl. I drive around the front of the house, slowing as I pass their tree, hunting through the camouflage of green and brown for a hint of feather. And I spot her. AND him. They are sitting RIGHTNEXT to each other on a branch, first date close. I idle the car while buzzing the window down. I’m too far for anything but a blurry shot with my phone camera. I send Husband a frantic text to please take a picture with a real camera. I take one last look at the pair as I leave for work, humming. I get this picture in a text from in the middle of my workday. It fills me with joy.
Monday, while doing my slow drive out of the driveway, I spot Mrs. sitting in the branch near the street. She is still there when I get back an hour later so into the house for the real camera and right back out into the cold I go. I snap dozens of shots of her as I walk up the driveway and onto the road. From the road, I am almost on the same level as her. Folks driving home think I’m stalking the neighbors. Good thing we think they are dead. Owl is not impressed with my interpretation of the paparazzi but she sits for a bit and lets me shoot a few more before turning her back on me and flying away.
It’s obvious when I look at the shots that they aren’t the same Mrs. or Mr. Owl. This might be Larry or Moe from last year's baby batch. I don’t care. They are awesome. Uncle is a bird guy. He’d know and he’d be just as excited as I am that we have Owls.
I send Uncle my pictures.
ME: I understand your love of birds a little bit more. I don’t think I’ll be this excited over little brown birds but Owls are pretty freakin' cool.
Uncle shoots me an email back.
UNCLE: Tell Husband you need these: (and he sends me this link for the Swarovski SwaroVision Binocular.)That’s where you’re headed if you don’t watch out.
I click on the link. Holy Batman? $2579,00!
I am retiring as paparazzi.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me