I woke up this morning to a happy, smiling baby face as I often do, and after some cuddles, got up and opened the curtains and scanned the yard for animals. This is a precaution I take nowadays to prevent my dog from being moose curb-stomped. This morning there were no moose, but there was something sitting in my driveway. It looked very much like an overly fat cat.
So I scampered out to the front door (starkers!) and braved a blast of -45 or -50F cold to make kitty-call noises and see if I could get the poor thing inside. It’s just too cold to be a cat outside today. I was worried the poor thing was freezing, as it was hunkered down in the driveway in a fluffy mound.
No movement. Crud. This was not looking good. I decided to make a strategic move and let the dog out to pee while I checked on the baby. Baby had, it turned out, followed me to the living room. I went to the window in the study. The animal was still. Then…it turned its head. First one way, 90 degrees, and then to the front, and then the other way, 90 degrees. Something tickled in my brain at the movement and I had a sudden suspicion that had to be verified.
The dog came back in without a hitch, I plopped Baby into his playpen prison, got dressed and booted, and then started crunching my way down the driveway to see if I was correct. About fifteen or twenty feet away from it, I spooked it, and what turned out to be an absolutely enormous owl opened its wings up and flew off into the timber surrounding my home.
I’m wishing I’d at least gotten a bad picture of it through the window, now, but it was just too cold to have my camera outside without risking harm to it, and I didn’t think to try and photograph it from the indoors until it was too late. But it was an interesting and definitively Alaskan way to start the morning. As much as I complain about the cold, I dearly love days like this!