Jul 7 2010

Going to the Birds

Melissa Crytzer Fry

One of the biggest misconceptions about the desert – especially in June and July – is that “everything is dead.” Sure, that’s when the 100-degree days become standard, and riding a motorcycle or four-wheeler is like having a hot hairdryer blasting into your face. But it’s also when lots of baby birds are born.

This baby barn owl is one of three living in a hillside behind our house.

This fur ball – a baby barn owl – was just one bluff away from the location where I photographed a great horned owl and its two owlets. He is one of three babies, but the only one curious enough to peek out from his front door this day (June 3).

A month later, I’m sure he’s looking nearly full-grown, like the neighboring great horned owlets. I am concerned about all these owls living in such close proximity, though. The great horned owl is known to prey upon barn owls when food is scarce. I hope the desert is bountiful enough and big enough for all these predatory birds to live in harmony.

But as Anatole France said, “Nature has no principles. She makes no distinction between good and evil.” I guess we’ll hope for the best!

Consider this, writers: Ever had predatory/unscrupulous neighbors? Or neighbors who live too close (like our more aggressive great-horned owl)? Have you secretly used their mannerisms and your own real-life interactions with them in your fiction?


2 Responses to “Going to the Birds”

  • avatar K Says:

    I have not used them in my fiction but have applied predators and their actions in my real life. Facts are there ARE predators and if you leave the gate open they WILL enter just like germs will enter into a wound if that wound is left open. My lesson learned this year is to work at staying healthy physically and mentally to lower the possibilities of falling to prey. Staying healthy takes discipline and investment in yourself. We all have worth so why not invest in yourself? I think if a person has the opportunity to invest in bettering themselves, the world will also benefit.

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    Melissa Crytzer Fry Reply:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! Investing in yourself IS the most important thing you can do.

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