Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oddly enough, it wasn’t a monkey loose on Signal Mountain

One evening a few weeks ago, while cleaning the dishes, I heard my husband howling like a monkey on our back deck. Now, Jason does a pretty mean gorilla impression but he usually reserves it for the nieces and nephews. When I asked the obvious question (“Have you lost your dang mind?!”) he informed me that there was a monkey in the woods behind our house and that he was trying to call it out.

Uh huh.

Alrighty then.

I waited on the deck with him for several minutes, heard nothing and chalked the strange behavior of my beloved up to sheer exhaustion. A few nights later I was home by myself and heard what, sure enough, sounded like a monkey call from the trees in our front yard. And then another one answered it back.

Let me just say now, there are few things more frightening than being home by yourself and wondering what the heck you’re going to do about the wild orangutans in your front yard. Do I turn off all the lights and pray they don’t swing through the windows? Throw some bananas in the front yard and call animal control? Or is Knox dog enough for me to sick ‘im on them?

Upon further listening and some rational reflecting, I remembered something from my summer at Rita & Dave’s- owls hooting can sound just like monkeys.

And of course, owls make a lot more sense in our front yard than monkeys. Duh.

Crisis averted, I spent a while listening to the conversation between two owls hidden somewhere amongst the trees and stars. Turns out, once you’re assured it’s not wild monkeys? Owls are very soothing creatures to have around.

Today, I heard one of the owls calling from out front followed by the squawk of a raven. Jason had told me that he watched a pair of ravens attack the owl the other day so I hurried out to see if it was happening again. I looked up from our front porch and there sat the owl and a raven. I rushed back inside to grab my camera but when I came back out he was gone. I headed to the back deck, hoping that he might have headed back to one of his familiar perches. I looked up, down and all around and then…


There he was, right smack dab in front of me!

DSC_0015 DSC_0007

Catching a snooze, but then something nudged him awake…


I think I’ll name him Horace.


  1. Anonymous8:13 PM

    Incredible!!!! That could be a baby...called a brancher...if you hear what sounds like a backwards whistle- call me and I will demonstrate- it is momma called to baby for training. It is a barred owl like you heard here. Oh yes, sounds like a woman being murdered, a monkey...usually mens there is a baby or nest and someone or something is too near. Love these pics- you are doing really well with your camera.

  2. That's craziness - I would prefer monkeys actually because birds (particularly large owls with sharp beaks and talons) give me the willies . . . great pictures of the owl though! :-)

  3. Well, that's just darned cool - and must less disconcerting than monkeys.

  4. What a beautiful owl. Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing. Love & blessings from NC!

  5. Wow!! What a lovely visitor...wish I had a Horace:)

  6. Like Horace Vandergelder?! haha. sweet!

  7. Omigoodness! That is AWESOME.

    I LOVE nature, and miss the hawk that lived in a tree by our old house.

    I would be thrilled to have an owl this close!

    Enjoy Horace....he is one cool bird. :)

  8. Owls freak me out....except for the Tootsie Pop Owl, cause he wore glasses and looked like Ralphie from A Christmas Story.

  9. Erica3:54 PM

    I love owls! Very cool. And elusive. You're so lucky.

  10. You have OWLS in your backyard? Where on earth do you live?! :) Haha, sorry- I suppose I'm a city girl, so the thought of an owl on my back porch is....well, out of the box to say the least. Although, really, I think it sounds fascinating. :)


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