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Of Owls and Fog

Snow OwlYou may be aware of the sightings of snowy owls this winter – numbers of them all along the New England coast and individuals as far south as Georgia and Florida. A researcher at Logan Airport in Boston tags the birds that are caught there and has learned that they travel north each summer to Quebec and Labrador. Here in Boothbay, so close to Owl’s Head (location of the wonderful Owl’s Head Transportation Museum’s collection of working antique planes and automobiles), we are sensitive to the patrols of these mysterious birds. The Boothbay Region Land Trust and Damariscotta River Association have led ‘owl prowls’ to introduce them to more admirers.

It’s not surprising that Harry Potter chose a snowy owl (or maybe Hedwig chose him) for an ally. Those silent wings, sharp talons and huge eyes are exactly the resources needed to fight the powers of darkness. When we catch the unmistakable sound of the owls on a moonlit night, or catch a sudden glimpse of one flying through the spruces along our woodland path in the early morning fog it is a gift, a reminder of the unseen world around us.

The snowy owls, like the snow that has buried us this past week, will soon be gone. They say that fog is the ‘snow eater’ and it does seem that it washes away the drifts where it passes (though actually the fog forms from those drifts as the temperatures rise above freezing.) We like to think of the great grey-white wing of fog settling along Spruce Point as a benevolent owl, watching as we scurry around preparing the Inn for spring.  We know that as the snowy owls head north, you’ll soon be on your way here to Maine to take their place.