It turns out, a great horned owl is nesting in a tree in a school playground, in one of the towns down the road from ours. Our sweet librarian produced a stack of gorgeous pictures, taken by her husband with a telephoto lens.
My camera is not nearly as fancy, and the light was waning by the time we got home, loaded up the children, and drove to the schoolyard, so no impressive pictures here...
...but the experience was quite amazing.
We were assured by several other groups of parents, also gawking at the owls (for the most part, all the children present, including my youngest, were more taken by a dusk trip to the playground, than by the raptors), that mother owl was very calm, and ignored children in the playground all day, and it was safe to get quite close.
I couldn't help but think, that just because she hasn't swooped down on anyone yet, doesn't mean she never will.
Still, staring up at the large owl, the nest, and the two bobbing babies was fascinating.
As were the bones and pellets under the tree (which even brought a few children back from the swings). A rodent shoulder bone...
I do have to say, after watching for a while, as another dad poked around in one of the pellets, I'm thinking...
...Jane Hammerslough picked the perfect title for her book.
We were amazed. We were scientists. And, we were grossed out!
It's great to be a homeschooler.