We walk a lot as a family. Part of the reason is we have an energetic child and it's a great way for him to exert some of that energy, but we also just like being outside. My favorite walk is in our neighborhood and surrounding woods because it doesn't require driving anywhere and it's a familiar routine. However, I learned how something familiar can still deliver surprises.
A few days ago we took an early evening walk in the woods, with Kellan leading the way on his balance bike. My husband Erik got into birding a few of years ago and now it seems he never goes on any outing without his binoculars. I sometimes tease him about this, but I can appreciate why people become birders. Not only are birds beautiful, but it gives you new perspective on where you are. Anyway, we don't normally see anything out of the ordinary in our own woods, but we both noticed a sound at the same time. It sounded like hooting. Then we heard it again. Yes, it definitely sounded like an owl.So while I rushed after Kellan, who was getting far ahead of us, Erik stayed put and started searching the trees. I convinced Kellan to backtrack (which is no easy task, by the way) and when we reached Erik, he had spotted a Great Horned Owl high in a Douglas fir. He sat down on the ground, had Kellan stand in front of him so they were at about the same eye level, and helped Kellan see the owl through the binoculars. It actually took me longer to spot the owl in the tree, but once I did, it was impressive. It almost seemed like he was looking at us too. Unfortunately, Erik didn't bring the camera with the telephoto lens so don't have a picture of the owl, but it was memorable for us to observe the owl together. We felt like we welcomed a special guest into the neighborhood.