Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden

Eight stone owls with etched details and yellow eyes

If the idea of gardening merely prompts memories of garden chores such as leaf-blowing, mowing, edging, dead-heading, thank your lucky stars you don’t have to engage in large scale owl-shifting.

Hearing Sherra Owen (whose garden these owls inhabit) on MPB radio reminded me that I had not yet shared my picture of her stone owl log. It is unfair of me not to say once again what a wonderful woodland garden she has, but she’s such a lovely person, I feel sure she won’t mind. Even her wooden fence thrills me, to say nothing of her trilliums, hellebores and other woodland ephemerals.

Apparently one of the things about encouraging owls to roost on fallen timber is that the wood decays and the owls fall… or rather they would, if the lady in question did not move them to a freshly fallen log.

Aware that I had some time ago started to share this picture, after some searching, I spotted this post in my drafts file with nothing more than the picture and a pun for a title – a feeble take on Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls, which I had to read as a student (I like the poem enough to think of it each Valentine’s Day when the birds start to look for partners and build nests). I’ll resist the urge here to observe we might be better off with a Parliament of Birds… no, I won’t. Because we might.

So as not every post has to make sense, and sense appears to be in short supply at the moment, I’ll leave you with a few ideas of what the birds might be singing:

Smokestack Lightning (Owlin’ Wolf)
Night Owl Blues (The Lovin’ Spoonful)
Maybe I’m Amazed (Wings)
Owl Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan)
Midnight Log (The Clash)
Twit Twoo Love (Bing Crosby)
Owling For You (The Black Keys)
Owl You Need Is Love (The Beatles)

I suggest you don’t like this one. It only encourages me.

41 thoughts on “Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden

  1. Oddment says:

    I can’t not like!! What personalities these owls have! They are wonderful, as is the setting they live in. I would say more but I must be off to find out about Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls, which, of course, I’ve never heard of.

    • susurrus says:

      The language is a challenge for me and some ‘translation’ helps, but I like the sound, or rather the look, of the language. As you can imagine, I identify with the ladies described as ‘In kirteles al dischevele’ (with hair loose). I may be guessing at the associations of that in Chaucer’s time, but I understand them well enough in the present!

      • Oddment says:

        I tried it in the original but I didn’t have the patience so I went to a translation. To think that I’d never even heard of it! I think the dialogue between the birds and Nature is wonderful. As is the hierarchy of birds. Not to mention the discourse on virtues and vices. Thanks for this!

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