Sunday, December 8, 2019

Jones Beach - Owl Watch

We went to the beach on Long Island that in summer is crammed with thousands of roasting bodies.

It was cold and empty, and the dune grasses were beautiful in their rufous, early winter color.

I saw tracks and found scat (rabbit?), and scanned every hump and hollow for the snowy owls we were hoping to sight.

Solidago, gone to seed.

And then we found her, between hell and high water. Not perched on a dune, but surveying her landscape sleepily from a rusty fence above empty handball courts. A New York owl.

Below her the courts were crammed with rusting barbecues and stacked picnic tables, detritus from summer, corralled by the dozen and locked up behind chainlink until next season.

They belong to the barracks of empty cabanas.

Much later we realized we could have found her via the road, rather than on a long beach hike, and so we parked the car there in the vast and empty parking lot named for the resort - Malibu - and ate hot tomato and chile soup with field garlic sprinkles and watched the owl. She's about at two-minutes-to-twelve above the cup on the left. Faraway, on the fence:



  1. Last week I read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen to my 3rd and 4th grade students....a lovely picture book about a young girl and her father sharing a special moment when they go "owling"....I am glad you got to see your owl. Thank you for the lovely photos...

  2. Lovely dune pictures! And of course the owl rocked,

  3. Yes Marie. And their sound is so thrilling too.

  4. A snowy! So fortunate for you to see.

    1. Yes, we feel very lucky that they deign to visit the city.


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