…in the night, so loud near the house that I woke and came down to sit in the darkness, listening? They were barreds, one calling — Who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all? — and the other buzzing. I thought of Gary Snyder, who wrote so beautifully of the deep night:
Long streak of cloud giving way
To a milky thin light
Back of black pine bough,
The moon is still full,
Hillsides of Pine trees all
Whispering: crickets still cricketting
Faint in cold coves in the dark
(from “True Night”, in Ax Handles)
It wasn’t pines in moonlight I saw, but Douglas firs, and the black limbs of arbutus. And owls, not crickets. But awake, in a private place, with the moon so tangled in the far boughs that only a little of its light filtered through to where I sat by my window. And that moon! Almost full — tomorrow night’s moon is the perigee full moon, the time when it’s closest to the earth. A time to wake and listen, to take in the sounds and cool air, to wonder about the snap of a branch, the click just beyond the window. Maybe the owls feel the heightened beauty of the night before the perigee too. A perfect time for hunting.
This morning I was watering tomato plants on the upper deck and I almost stepped on this sawyer beetle, newly hatched from the bark of one of those trees. I think it’s Monochamus scutellatus, the white-spotted beetle. This one was big — I took out an old wooden ruler and discovered it was 30 mm. and its antennae were another 25 mm. long. It wouldn’t stay still for a photograph but here it is, climbing out of a dish.
4 thoughts on “what were the owls up to…”
Love your beetle!
He (or she) was very long and elegant and the antennae were striped! And the wings were the most beautiful black, like jet beads, and kind of shimmering.
gorgeous. i adore beetles….
This one disappeared back into the woods…