I was walking through a forest with my dog one summer morning, around 10am, when I looked up through the trees and saw an enormous figure staring my way. Our eyes met during the piercing "crack!" of a twig breaking underfoot. With the sound still fresh in our ears, our two sets of eyes propelled into each other. This was the first time I had seen a spotted owl outside of captivity. Our stares remained locked until a sound echoed through the woods from behind the grand bird, and it whooshed its gaze away from mine and turned its head to look.
I collect various owl figurines which strike me in one way or another. A lovely friend of mine recently gifted these to me: