SHORT-EARED OWL

Happy to share my photo essay/poem “Short-Eared Owl” with you! Last week it landed in the Spring 2021 edition of God and Nature Magazine, a publication of the American Scientific Affiliation, an international network of Christians in science.

I’d searched for these active little owls on my earlier trips to the Skagit Flats, but always in the mornings.

Then my friend Linda showed me a beautiful shot she had taken of a shortie, hunting on a sunny March day. “An afternoon shot,” she said.

So . . . I waited until the next day waned, headed south, and there they were. My poem hatched after dinner that evening.

Short-Eared Owl

by Cheryl Grey Bostrom

If only because of her wing’s leading edge,
because of a baleen feather, made for her,
and how that eyelashed pinion
smooths the ruckus
of wing flap,
combing currents until they
fall like whispers on
torn muslin feathers
of her wing’s trailing fringe,
noiseless . . .

If only because of an owl wing,
I would trust You, Designer.

Hear everything, you airborne beauty.
Surprise your meal.
Take and eat.


​Along the anterior edge of most owls’ first flight feather, one can see a delicate, comb-like serration, which serves to break up air turbulence—and noise—caused by a heavy wing-beat.

​Quieted air then streams, muffled, over the velvety bird before it flows past wispy, sound-dampening feathers at the wings’ posterior margins. The owl moves on, nearly silent, hunting her prey below.


Award-winning author Cheryl Grey Bostrom is a Pacific Northwest native, naturalist, and avid photographer. A former teacher and columnist, she lives with her husband and two irrepressible Gordon setters in rural Washington State.

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And in this week’s social media posts: Road trip pics snapped through the truck window at 60+ mph.

Day 1: See-through.

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”

—Proverbs 20:5

*******

Day 2: Dwarfed.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah . . .”

—Micah 5:2

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Day 3: Roll call.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”

—Luke 15:4

*******

Day 4: Caldera.

“Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.”

—Psalm 37:8

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Day 5: Where green is just a blink.

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And finally, I’m looking for a few more launch team members to help bring my new novel Sugar Birds into the world. There’s only one requirement: Read and review the book by August 3. Other launch stuff is OPTIONAL. (I’ll send you a digital copy.)

About those REVIEWS: Since trade reviewers like Kirkus and Chanticleer have already completed their formal trade reviews (click links to read them), you don’t need to critique the book. Simply write a few lines (even as few as 1-2 sentences) telling your response to the story.

Interested? Send me your email address via my contact page, and I’ll send you more information.

Would love to have you join me.

*******

Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks.

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Love the outdoors? I can take you there. Rural & wild PNW posts from a naturalist, faith writer, award-winning author. Member of Redbud Writers Guild. Debut novel—Sugar Birds—launches Aug 3, 2021.

8 thoughts on “SHORT-EARED OWL

  1. Hi Cheryl,

    Mclapper183@gmail.com

    I would like to review your book, “The Sugar Birds” if you can still use me.

    Thank you, Marian Clapper

    On Sat, Apr 24, 2021, 9:45 AM Cheryl Grey Bostrom, Author wrote:

    > Cheryl Grey Bostrom, Author posted: ” Happy to share my photo essay/poem > “Short-Eared Owl” with you! Last week it landed in the Spring 2021 edition > of God and Nature Magazine, a publication of the American Scientific > Affiliation, an international network of Christians in science. I’d” >

    Liked by 1 person

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