Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Dark Days, Dark Nights


I thought it was cloud cover and the potential for rain at last, but no such luck. This blanket of cloud was not made of water. Smoke from California wildfires filled our atmosphere all along the Canadian south coast, and inland through the southern half of British Columbia. The air quality rating goes to 10 but today it was 10+. It was darkish all day.

The sun tried to come out, but isn’t it supposed to be yellow? It was red! Just like it was two years ago when we had wildfires all over BC.

After a dark day, the pitch blackness of night set in, and I took the dogs outside for last call. Above me in those trees in picture one, sat Einstein, screeching to the Junior Professor who was someplace deeper in the woods. They shrieked to each other every 10 to 15 seconds.

For the video clip below, I tried to hold a flashlight in my left hand and the camera in my right, and somehow bring the camera’s lens to focus on the owl in the beam of light. Then came the challenge of turning the video button on with one hand.

Later when I looked at the video, I thought the owl was probably doing that circular motion with his head trying to follow the movement of the light and the camera, which  were casting about all over the place. As always, apologies for the blurriness, but it was pitch black and I was struggling to get a picture with both hands full. But you may be able to see the owl’s head swiveling around. Did you know they have a range of about 270 degrees? 360 makes a full circle.

Also, you can hear their shrieking, screeching call, so different from the soft hoo-hoo-hooing call they use later in the winter. Einstein must have gotten something on his bib from his last meal, or maybe it was pitch from the trees. He is pulling on it to tidy himself up for the camera.

Einstein, perched high in the tree,

Poses unafraid,

Lovely, big-eyed gorgeous me,

For the camera made.

Shrieks and screeches I can make

Scaring little mice,

Keeping nearby folks awake,

Judging by the lights.

Smoke-filled air will hide me more

When I’m on attack,

And while folks at last do snore,

I will nab my snack.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

40 thoughts on “Dark Days, Dark Nights

  1. That’s a pretty good video, Anneli, and with your hands full! 270 degrees is so amazing, the bird’s head was really twisting. How amazing is it that the smoke reaches BC and Nevada? So sorry you guys are getting that nasty smoke too. 🤭🇨🇦🇺🇸

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, the smoke is even up there?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You did an incredible job in the darkness with this video capture. I hope the smoke-filled skies abate as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I feel bad that it’s not clearer, but it really was pitch dark and I was in a rush. I was glad he posed long enough before flying away. The smoke … I can’t believe it has come so far and that it is so bad way up here.


  4. Oh gosh, i’m sorry to hear this. I hope things clear out for you soon, Anneli. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you did really well. And the owl seemed very nonchalant – the camera is on me, I think I’ll preen!
    My M is still in Penticton and he has said that the smoke is bad there, too. It’s very dark.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good grief, Anneli. After decades of managing our forests well, California has forgotten how to do it. That’s two years in a row!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Phantastic video! I hope this smoke will go away soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The smoke really travels far. Scary wildfires!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the video! Wow, nice filming on your part. Yes, the smoke is bad in our area as well, but it seems to be lifting very slightly today. Let’s hope we get a glimmer of sunlight soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sonja. It would have been better if I’d had someone to hold the light, but then, maybe the owl would have gotten nervous and flown away. Hard to say. I hope you’re right about the smoke but so far it is hovering like an unwanted guest.


  10. Looks like your area is a casualty to the war the US is fighting right now with arsonists. Although I don’t think the elected officials there are doing much about it. They’re letting them free and they get caught doing it again. 🙄

    That owl video and screeching is perfect for Halloween. It’s spooky there in the pitch dark. 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    • The lack of “law and order” follow-up is terrible. The general public ends up paying the price and once the criminals see that they can do whatever they want without fear of consequences, it will get worse fast – it already has. I just saw a briefing on the news and learned that 24 lives have been lost due to these fires and about 44,000 people have had to leave their homes (I’m not sure if they have homes to go back to). It really is a horror. And to think that someone would purposely set a fire … I just can’t get my head around what kind of a person would do that, knowing the lives of people and animals are bound to be lost.

      The owl screeching would be kind of spooky if you didn’t know that it’s only Einstein and the Jr. Professor.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We’ll be staying inside for the third day as Vancouver is blanketed in widespread smoke…I love it when I come upon a Barred Owl in our beautiful park…Einstein is a beautiful owl, how lucky you are to step outside and capture his wild self!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dramatic shot of the sun. Is the air beginning to clear?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I hope the sky clears for you soon, at least the fire season there is almost over, ours is about to start in Australia. So far in Tasmania at least it has been a much moister winter than last year when we had large wilderness fires caused by lightning. I love your owl video, I’m about to head out on a weekly night walk with a neighbour, we get Tawny Frogmouths and boo-book owls here, maybe we’ll get lucky and spot one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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