May 19, 2008

Tonight was a glorious night. It was pure joy for me. And for the others in the crew. Hidden Canyon revealed some spotted owls to us, and we were actually able to observe one for some time. Much smaller than I imagined, but still capable of producing a loud, resonating hoot. They are really very much ghosts in these canyons. Barely visible in the trees, only a flash of white barely seen as they take flight and swoop to another perch in the waning evening light. We were all stoked. Dave was pleased that his 'students' get to experience owls. Steph joyously proclaimed her amazement..."i'm getting paid to do this." Etc., etc.
The canyons at night are surreal. Working your way down through the zigs and zags and boulder and wall is awesome, like a totally different world from when it was hiked during the day. And we are the only ones out there. Every day we see new critters. Whiptail lizard caught in my tent. Bull snake under a rock. Kit fox on the road near Zion lodge at night. And of course, a visual on the spotted owl!