My morning walk takes me along a paved road and past a grove of popular trees. One of the largest trees is a favorite resting place for a great horned owl. I always approach that tree with the eagerness normally reserved for greeting old friends. However the unblinking stoical stare emanating from two golden black-centered eyes tells me my enthusiasm is not mutually shared.
On several occasions I have stopped and expressed my concern about his lifestyle choices. (I think of this owl as a ‘he’ because I would never presume to be wise enough to offer advice to a female.)
Once I suggested that a perch further away from the noisy traffic would be more conducive to getting a good day’s sleep.
On another occasion I pointed out the risks of hunting at night along the sides of a busy road.
I know he listens because his eyes always grow larger and more attentive. Of course I have no idea what he is thinking – and that’s a good thing. Anyone who has raised teenagers will know exactly what I mean.