Halloween is upon us and I see owl decor everywhere. I was thinking how do I set the stage to share this story about The Owl in our courtyard, and the opportunity presented itself so perfectly around Halloween time.
This is the story of a little owl that resides in our courtyard.
Let me start from the beginning, four years ago to be exact. Before we even bought our new home, while we were just contemplating it. I still remember that afternoon in the summer of 2012 when we decided to purchase our home in Los Gatos, California.
Before making an offer we wanted to do an inspection of both the inside and outside of the home for anything major that might’ve stuck out at us. I met my realtor one afternoon in late July of 2012, and we started our inspection. We finished checking the inside of the house and headed outside. As we were walking around looking for any major damage or anything that might be of concern we come to the courtyard. Here our realtor suddenly stopped and pointed up at the eaves and exclaimed, “Oh my God look at that, there is a little owl up there!” “What?” I asked. I looked at her with exasperation. “Seriously?” I thought. I shook my head and replied, “No, that’s not an owl, it’s not moving, it’s a wooden sculpture of an owl.” Our realtor squinted and looked again, and then insisted it was a real owl. But I didn’t believe her. We stood there staring at it for a few minutes and this owl didn’t move a muscle; nada, nothing, it was still, still as a statue. I told her, “I think the owners put the owl there to ward off birds.” After a few more minutes of staring at this owl statue, we both left the courtyard having convinced ourselves that it was in fact a statue of an owl.
A couple of weeks later, our realtor and I headed back to the house to show the inspector around while he did his official inspection. We got to the courtyard and again noticed the owl statue in the exact same spot. Our realtor looked up and with her doubts gone about the owl being a statue, she insisted now that it was a real owl and asked the inspector what he thought. To which the inspector said he couldn’t tell for sure and continued on with his inspection.
Our realtor and I just stood there staring at the owl. I told her again that maybe the previous owners had put an owl sculpture there to prevent birds from making nests in the eaves. As I made this remark and looked up, you won’t believe what happened. The owl blinked! A quick blink, that’s it. Our realtor exclaimed, “Did you see that?” “Yes!” I replied. And with a big smile our realtor says, “See, I told you it was real!” We both stood there for a long few minutes watching and waiting for the owl to blink again, but he didn’t. The inspector came back to see if the owl was real and saw the owl open his eyes briefly after hearing so much commotion. He was pretty amazed as well. He took a few pictures of the owl and included them in his final report. I was thrilled to know that it was a real owl and not a statue, and told the family about it.
Our offer on the home was accepted and we were ready to start work on updating our new home. Our realtor was worried, what will the owl do when we start re-modeling she wondered. She wanted to call the Humane society and have them re-locate the owl. But her colleagues told her to let nature take its course. We would stop by every weekend to check on our home and the owl. Even after we started our re-model he was there for months, and then one day he just disappeared. We were sad. We assumed that with all the noise, our home wasn’t a quiet sanctuary any more.
We moved into our new home in the summer of 2013. We looked for the owl but he wasn’t there. Then one afternoon while enjoying the afternoon sunshine in the courtyard, the kids exclaimed, “The owl is back!”. Hitesh and I looked up and saw the owl sitting under the kitchen eaves. The little owl was there all summer and fall and then he disapeared in December. Again, we wondered if he was safe and wished him well.
The next year in June (2014), while watering my courtyard, what do I see in the same spot in the kitchen eaves? I see an owl! He was there all summer long until December when he left again.
Interestingly, the little owl has been coming back every year. We see the owl from summer to late fall/December. Then he leaves on holiday for the winter months, and comes back the following summer. The most amazing thing is, he sits in the exact same spot, under the kitchen eaves. We can only assume it’s the same owl frequenting our courtyard, coming back to his perch every year.
Occasionally when the owl is not sitting in the kitchen eaves, I will see him in the original spot he was sitting at when our realtor and I first saw him years ago – in the eaves near our living room. We didn’t name him because initially we didn’t know if the owl would come back. But now that he does come back year after year – we just call him The Owl. When we catch sight of him, we will tell each other “The Owl is back!!”😄
Friends and family have seen The Owl too. When they are over for lunch or tea and we are hanging out in the courtyard, I will show them The Owl. He will open his eyes for a split second from all the chatter, and go back to sleep.
This past summer as June approached I was wondering when I would see The Owl again this year. Sure enough we spotted him in July. Hitesh was in the courtyard when he saw The Owl sitting quietly on one of our lamps. He texted me: “The Owl is back!”
As I sweep the fall leaves in my courtyard I see The Owl every day sitting in the eaves above my kitchen window.
The Owl in the Courtyard. He is back 😊.