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Intirruption January 11, 2012

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I stop at the general store in Parts on my way to work. Being it’s morning, the farmers are having coffee in the corner, and to get to that snooty Vermont organic whole-bean dark roast that Tim loves so much (OK—I like it too), I have to worm my way between a couple of them, because it’s located on some shelves right behind where they’re sitting. I’m trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, trying not to be an interruption, but of course one of the bags I want is on the top shelf in the back, and five-foot-seven turns out to be at least an inch too short, so one of them graciously helps me out, barely able to reach it himself.

Then, as I turn to go, I hear someone say “snowy owl,” and talk turns to sightings, so I have to go back and say the first thing I’ve ever mustered courage to say beyond good morning, which is something like, “Did you see a snowy?”

And it’s the guy who reached for my coffee talking, and it turns out he hasn’t, not yet, not this year; he hasn’t seen one for eighteen years, but he tells me about a close town where a couple of sightings have happened, and we talk about the apparent snowy owl irruption in Vermont, what a year it’s been, and I tell him I’ve never seen one—well, not any outside captivity anyway—and he seems surprised by this, which in turn surprises me, but I assure him that my binoculars are in my car.


1. Craig R. Smith - January 11, 2012

NPR says they’re very bold and like to be seen. Are you going to head to the town in question to see if you can catch a glimpse?

indigo bunting - January 11, 2012

Maybe. The weather is about to turn quite nasty, though, and I have a lot of work to catch up on. This working-for-a-living thing is highly overrated. Sigh.

2. laurie - January 12, 2012

lovely post! and my brother, who lives in iowa, says iowa is having an irruption, too. he wrote a piece about it for the mason city paper.

i saw a snowy once in our park. that was years ago, and i still glance at that tree every time i cross the pedestrian bridge, just in case one is sitting there again.

indigo bunting - January 14, 2012

Ah, envy! I love that you’re a birder.

3. Mali - January 12, 2012

I confess I actually had to look up “irruption.” What a great word! I also love that the snowy owl brought you and some of your farmer neighbours together.

4. Bridgett - January 12, 2012

All birds all the time. I love it.

5. Helen - January 14, 2012

In the interests of expanding the public’s vocabulary, I think public health should start using “irruption” instead of “outbreak”.

indigo bunting - January 14, 2012

I like that idea. Of course, they might confuse it with eruption, which sounds so…pustular.

6. Dona - January 21, 2012

Love this interaction with the farmers. Hope you get a glimpse of the snowy.

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