Just came in from walking The Dog. He's a little out of sorts because his pack leader (a.k.a. Kate) is away for the night at a salmon/watershed institute for teachers (I'm so envious of her).
Anyway, the walk: Very quiet tonight. Cloudy, so no moon. Still, barely a breath of breeze. And unlike some summers past, not a single hint of owls in the vicinity.
We were spoiled two years ago by a nesting pair of barn owls that set up housekeeping in a big Canary Island palm a couple blocks away. There were four chicks who carried on incessantly as both parents hunted the neighborhood and beyond to feed the hungry brood. I thought at the time, or hoped in any case, that we'd hear and see those birds again.
Over the winter we heard barn owls nearby. But this spring and summer, the neighborhood's fallen silent at night. I hope those birds are hunting somewhere. Maybe they can come back sometime and run some night-time raids on the crows, who have taken over the daylight hours here.