Wednesday, September 21, 2005

On Owl Island Part 3

My knowledge of Owls is increasing by the minute.... I had a dream(Or was it a dream) as I slept in the down and feathers of the owls under the pine trees last night.

I awoke in my dream to find perched on a low branch, close to where my head lay a very very large bird whose eyes had yellow rims and black as black centres.

She looked at me as if to ask why was I here. I spoke in a quiet voice as not to seem intrusive "I have come by way of a row boat skippered by a priestess from across the bay ,over "Yes I know her well ,would she be the night Priestess name of Angelina" said the large owl. Her voice was low & ...deep. She fluttered her eyes and I took it to mean I was accepted ....She then proceeded to tell me her life story....

How she lived with her babies in the top of high thick foliage trees and favourite foods were possums, gliders, rats and small birds if she catch them... How her partner (Father of her babies) lived in his own tree, not too far away. He brings home the occassional morsel for the babies ... but we don't live together the nest is too small...(I was beginning to get ideas from this sort of living arrangement of the owl) No comment please..

I heard of the history of the species, quite rare and only found on rare coastal islands and of how they made their nest in a cavity lined with wood pulp and how the children are born, only two at a time from May to Sept.

How they never call one another at night when hunting,they are silent and as their sight is the best of any bird in the WORLD they are able to swoop so quickly on the unsuspecting prey..... As I looked at her and those large talons I did not need any imagination.

She was called The Powerful Owl (Ninox Strenua) and underneath she was a beautiful soft white, her wings were tipped with brown specks ....

It was then I woke up, and sitting on a low branch beside me was a powerful owl with I thought a smile on her face, either that or a look of "What's for lunch"

Then she was gone, up up and away to the top of the large pine tree... I looked up but could not see her or the nest.

It was time to explore the island I had already been here for over 24 hours and Angelina said she would be back for me tomorrow night , all being well whatever that meant, perhaps if the sea was calm or rough.

Which way to go was the question..... North, South, East or West .. I threw a stick into the air and whatever way it pointed on landing was my chosen path.... I forget completely that I had a small compass in my purple back pack, silly me.

So off I went in a northerly direction .. I was feeling peckish so finished off my last piece of stale bread and a morsel of cheese... holding out on the apple hoping I might find something edible on this barren outcrop.

I crossed hillocks and rock patches sandy areas and a few sparse small trees before I could see in the distance a rocky outcrop of buildings, some standing upright , others fallen over....I advanced carefully not knowing what might lurk behind the once upon a time inhabitated building.... But there was nothing I could hear but the whistling wind from the sea.

It was then I saw a rusty bucket with a metal rope attached hanging above a circular concoction... It was a well, and as I rushed toward it I didn't for one moment think that if there was water below that it might not be drinkable.

I wound the chain by the handle down into the dark bottomless hole ,listening until I could hear the splash of water ... I was just about at the end of the metal chain when I heard the flop as it hit the right level where the water lay.

Then the long task of winding it up to the top, much heavier this time, hoping that it was the water in it that made the difference... It seemed an eternity coming but as it reached the top I could see when I looked into the bucket/pail that the water was as clear as clear and reflected my face in it...
I smiled and the water smiled back at me,I cupped my hand in,raised it to my mouth and drank quickly,I was thirsty.

It had been over 12 hours since I had last tasted liquid.

I had never tasted water this sweet, it was cold and a slight, very slight flavour of pine, perhaps I thought from the trees on the island that were only this genus.I filled my water bottle to the top, wet my hankerchief,washed my face, rinsed my mouth, splashed it under my arms ,l et it trickle between my toes, run it through my tangled curly hair..... I felt so good.. Food did not enter my thoughts at this time. Water is the staff of life so I had heard ....

I would not wander to much further as I had to remember the journey back to the jetty was a good 6 hours, so I decided to explore the ruins as I now knew them to be and see perhaps if there were any clues, perhaps remnants, writings etc etc of who it was had once long ago settled or perhaps was marooned on Owl Island......To Be Continued........................

3 Comments:

At 9:47 PM, Blogger le Enchanteur said...

Dear Lois
Your visit to Owl Island has been quite extraordinary. With this attention to detail I imagine the Archipelago will be right up you alley.
Sibyl

 
At 3:26 AM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

I love the pines.

 
At 6:53 AM, Blogger Fran said...

Lois: I have a suspicion that you are among the dancers on the Island. Their picture is with the Donkeys Union collection. The Secretary

 

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