Monday, April 26, 2010
How Owl Hollow Got its Name
An old high school friend of mine was up visiting from New Jersey many years ago. She is an enthusiastic gardener and loves to get an outdoor tour of the garden when she's up.
While we walked around, she remarked, "Boy, you sure have a lot of birds around here."
"Yes," I agreed, "I like to feed them in summer because I get a lot of birds I don't see in winter."
We continued talking, and she confidently told me that where she lives in Rockaway, New Jersey, she has a lot of owls. I raised my eyebrows a bit, maybe because I know owls do not form flocks!
"Really?" I said. Do you see them?"
"No, but I hear them all the time."
Later in the day, we were outside again, and this time a pair of mourning doves cooed above us as they perched in the sugar maple.
"Fran, is that what the owls sound like at your house?," I asked.
"Yes, yes, that's it! Exactly like that," she said excitedly.
Trying not to smile too broadly, I gently explained that what she was hearing was mourning doves, not owls. I pointed to the tree branch above us.
Fran was visibly disappointed, but I have to admit to having a really good chuckle at her expense. In fact, the memory of this exchange makes me smile every time I think of it, and so I decided to name my property Owl Hollow, as a perennial tribute to my friend's lack of ornithological knowledge.