Owl magic

Posted in John's Musings by john

Last summer, I photographed burrowing owls for several weeks in an agricultural area in Southern Arizona. One day my efforts had been thwarted by a number of events including a crop duster flying directly overhead, seemingly close enough to touch.  I stayed patient and then the gloriously unexpected happened. Desert rains can be extremely spotty, and suddenly the owls and I had our own private rainstorm. The magic continued to unfold when my owls began to do something I have never seen or even heard of before… a rain dance! With wings-spread, they performed what looked like a native American dance. My cameras whirred and the rain stopped as did the dancing and I was left with goosebumps and tears of joy from the utter, unexpected perfection of what just happened. So often in life, the best bits can take you by surprise.  As with all perfection or near perfection that I have witnessed, the rain dance was sadly fleeting, and thus bittersweet. I went back many times to see it again, but never had the same luck. What a priveledge it was to witness this rare event! 

burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), Arizona, “rain dance”