jueves, 23 de octubre de 2014

Birthday Surprise

My birthday was not long ago (happy birthday to me!), and I had a very unique birthday surprise.  As I was walking through the town square, there were 5 local "townies" looking up into the large, 300-year-old elm tree that grows there next to the town church.  

Now, the old ulmus minor is a tourist attraction itself, partly because it is so large, and partly because the base is hollow and children love hiding inside.  Many a family photo is taken there, especially when it is First Communion season (we've had several taken there ourselves).  But, when the locals start taking a second glance, you know something is up...

And, up they were!  Waaaaaay up, some 40 feet in the air, were a pair of tawny owls (Strix aluco), fast asleep.

It's amazing how much their feathers look like tree bark.

Doesn't he just look perfectly blissful?

Later on, just before dusk, I went by again to see if they had awaken.  Sure enough, they had.

By the way, what looks to be a tree trunk to the bottom left of this photo is actually the abdomen of the other owl!

If you would like to check out our town's ancient field elm tree, I found a video about it on YouTube made by a British tourist.  Funny.  The video shows it in the winter with no leaves and after a recent pruning, but you can see how hollow it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNr0BK4IgbI

You might also like my post from earlier this year about Little Owls, Whoooo Me?

Any owls or ancient trees in your neck of the woods?

4 comentarios:

  1. Dear Lady of la Mancha, thank you for your kind comment on my blog! Did you know that I also buy roses in Lottum? About the owl, I have never seen one in the "wild". And you have an exception elm tree! I have seen the link. So it is not all that bad in Spain! I envy you too.
    Groetjes from Holland,


    1. Hetty, Tuincentrum Lottum is quite popular among Spanish rose lovers because their prices are so low and their selection is quite good. They sell bare root roses for 4.50€ - 5.50€, whereas an Austin rose at a garden center in Spain will cost you 18€.

      Someday I will do a post about my village's elm tree - it is quite interesting, actually.


  2. Dear Lady of laMancha, Here Holland again. First I want to thank you for adding my blog on the blog list. I have a lot of Spanish
    visitors last weeks, now I know why!
    I wish I could send you an email to show the container pots I have planted in with tulips and other bulbs. I know there are a lot of problems with rabbits and tulips. I have groups of deer visiting my garden. They can eat hundred of tulips in a blink of an eye.
    That keeps gardening challenging don't you think!


    1. Ha, ha! Yes, gardening is challenging, and each garden has it's own specific challenges. In my garden, it's rabbits, the sun (which my kids call "The Death Star"), very dry wind, summer drought and snakes (although that's more of a mental challenge). We also have a recurring phenomenon of dust suspended in hot air that comes from the Sahara (not fun). So, as you can see, my delicate-looking roses are a lot tougher than they look!