[Tweeters] In singular times, our singular SNOW visitor to Seattle

elc elc at uw.edu
Sun Feb 7 10:09:08 PST 2021

(forgive this, all: I can be said to be more than a bit besotted) "One Snowy Owl does not an irruption make” is probably safe to say.

Starting Nov 14, one SNOW (Snowy Owl) did arrive and come to favor a few square blocks on Queen Anne Hill for day roost sites<https://www.flickr.com/photos/154614679@N02/50919157231/in/dateposted/>. After *she had spent days in Burien and West Seattle, and also put in verified appearances in nearby Ballard and the vicinity of Woodland Park Zoo (N.B., four SNOW do live there), she somehow found that this particular landform, perhaps its proximity to the sea and nearby sustenance combinedl, rang the right bell. (80 some days passed) Recently, when the first then second day of no SNOW sightings slipped by, with some apprehension and yes, ennui … the fact of The Queen’s departure became clear. We all together hope that ‘she’ fortified herself well (despite the various ‘black boxes’ placed by nearby business) here in Seattle, learned a lot … and is now safely winging her way back to the frozen North.

Down here fixed at ground level, what may be the most enduring is the effect she has had on community. How many hundreds (at the two ends of the ‘bird-awareness’ spectrum, and of all ages) got to experience something rare and really remarkable, and take her in? My favorite was a nice woman who while driving slowly by in December, asked, “What are you all looking at, a UFO?” Until our last view of Her Majesty, probably Feb 2 (which happens to have also been Ground Hog Day), we did have this Unbelievably Fabulous One as nearby nature - an emissary from the arctic, who taught us, united us, cheered us up. No longer having Her Majesty to draw us together, that song from 'Les Miserables’ has come into mind (with apologies), "Empty [streets] and empty [alleys], now my friends are [home, warm and dry].

Thanks are deeply extended to Elizabeth Bacher for Nov 14, Jason Vasallo for his Tweeters and eBird entry the next day (N.B. 300-some other eBird entries<https://www.flickr.com/photos/154614679@N02/50919153041/in/dateposted/> per the ‘stakeout’ hotspot), “was-it-your-roof?”-Jim Danzenbaker and a special shout out to Hartmut Peters for this very lovely Snowy Owl tribute video<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nsWOOBU98A> just out … Last thanks, with a wink and a wish, are sent for verse offered by Dennis Paulson:

Empty roofs and cedars strike me not with pain,
I think our queen has gone for now but may return again…

For the record, the Good, the Bad and the Alternative: 81 days of civil observation hereabouts, one drone incursion (but not til Jan 23 as compared to Central Park) and a possibly better choice for this afternoon, S U P E R B O W L<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE8fdUIW-Wk> (with fond remembrances to Alex Trebek).

(* a personal not scientific choice of pronoun, in lieu of it / they. After all, this is Queen Anne ... as can be seen, this Snowy Owl sports a lovely tiara. For upholding the broadest of inclusivity, we may happily also honor The Band, “Queen").

Very best wishes, Tweets!
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Elaine Chuang
elc at UW dot edu

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