Monthly Archives: September 2009

Hey Owls, Keep It Down!

Something’s up with the owls in our neighborhood. They’ve gotten loud and rowdy, and we can’t really figure out why.

home of the owls

At least two appear to have a nest or nests in the tall palm trees next door to our house in the Pocket, and in recent weeks they’ve been screeching constantly from shortly after sunset to sunrise.

We refer to them collectively as Owlie McBeal, but if the shrieking continues, we may give them more colorful names.

These critters seem to be keeping everyone awake at night.

Our cat lives outside, and he is not happy at all. He’s been meowing a lot in protest, so we let him in the garage at night when he wants a break.

Between the owls’ shrill cries and the cat complaining, we’re all not getting the beauty sleep we need.

One neighbor has jokingly offered to take care of the owls with a shotgun blast, but I’m pretty sure Sacramento police would frown on that.

My son, A., says he thinks the owls are fighting amongst themselves. A wrestling match, he says.

“Maybe they’re coughing up owl pellets as they wrestle,” he said.

A. is an expert on owls. His first-grade class dissected owl pellets last year. The birds eat their prey whole, and then barf up pellets full of bones and other indigestible stuff later on.

Seems like a viable theory. We’ve found pellets in our yard before.

Another neighbor — not the guy offering to shoot the birds — is suffering the most. His yard is where the owls’ palm trees stand.

He guesses that the owls had babies, and the piercing cries are coming from little ones begging for food from the parents, which swoop around looking for rodents.

I can relate to this story, especially after waking up to the cries of small children in the middle of the night over the years.

The owls have lived in the trees for a long time, and their ancestors were probably flying around this area long before people moved in. Before now, they’ve been pretty quiet.

We’re just hoping at this point that they’ll settle down soon. We all need some sleep.


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Where’s My Remote?

My son is full of good ideas.


“I wish I had a remote to speed up time,” he told me not long ago.

The idea was to make his seventh birthday and Christmas arrive sooner, along with the gifts.

As summer draws to a close, I’m wishing for a remote of my own, to slow down time.

We’ve had a great time as a family over the break, with short vacations to Washington, D.C., and Lake Tahoe.

There was also a fishing trip to Sly Park, lots of swimming and a couple of River Cats games as well.

But the summer has zipped by.

Now A. is about to start the second grade, and little C. will soon turn 2 years old.

I try to enjoy each day with the kids, watching them as they grow almost right before my eyes.

I want to remember the little stuff, like when A. sweetly takes C.’s hand and leads her to the best stuff at the playground.

This window when they are little is so short, and the time just flies by.

I’d like to slow it down, and even pause it, to savor each little minute.

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