Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Owl

"A Wise Old Owl"
Nursery rhyme and its history.

"The origins and history of "A Wise Old Owl" are vague, however its meaning isn't. Basically it would be told to children in an attempt to teach the child the virtue of being quiet. The words in the poem of "A Wise Old Owl" are derived from the saying 'a wise old owl' based on an owl's behavior, of watching and patiently waiting when hunting its prey. Legends concerning the owl are recorded in Greek, Celtic, Native American and Aborigine mythology. The owl is especially associated with wisdom in Greek mythology being linked with Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. Athens is named from the Goddess Athena and its emblem is the owl. The owl was also for many years viewed as a sinister bird only hunting at night when only evil spirits and witches were abroad, hence the connection with a Witches Familiar (remember Harry's Potter's owl who was called Hedwig?) Therefore, the wise old owl's meaning might be, 'Children should be seen and not heard.'" Hard to imagine that sweet little owl in my picture, or any other for that matter, being once thought of as evil.

A while ago I learned of the Nature Visions Photography Expo taking place this past weekend in Manassas, and on Saturday I had the opportunity to photograph birds of prey from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia. I had a marvelous time with a small group of people, as we took dozens and dozens of photographs of the beautiful owls and hawks in their care. It was an amazing experience. We were given about 20 minutes to be with each bird, under the condition that if they showed any stress, the session would be terminated. Fair enough. These birds had been through enough, all being injured and unable to be returned to the wild, and thus being used for educational purposes. The birds that I saw seemed pretty comfortable though and were obviously quite used to having people around. Their volunteer carers were ever watchful and it was written on their faces how much they loved being with their charges.

I will be showing more photographs of those birds in the days ahead.

21 comments:

A Brit in Tennessee said...

How beautiful !
I've always loved owls, those huge all-knowing, all seeing, eyes just seem to lure one in...
Look forward to seeing more birds of prey.
Lovely little poem, this is my first time reading it.
Hugs,
~Jo

Country Gal said...

What a lovely blog .I had a good nose around and enjoyed it very much. I found your blog through The Frog and PenguINN comments. My mum and dad were born and raised in England through the 2nd world war, my dad was a British soldier, both have passed now. I have family still in England and some in Scotland would ya know lol, my mum and dad moved here to Canada where I was born and raised with the English traditions and nutty humor as well . I will enjoy following this wonderful blog and reading ...wait for it... what goes on in your red neck of the woods ,a bit Canadian there lol. Have a wonderful evening.

Kay said...

I loved this post, poem and photo. Our school mascot in Illinois was an owl so I do have a special fondness for that wise old bird.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Denise, Love the owl and the story.... I am always fascinated with owls... Great photo.
Hugs,
Betsy

Debbie said...

what a great story and an amazing photo!! i have only seen them in a zoo!!

SandyCarlson said...

I like that a lot!

The Elephant's Child said...

I am really looking forward to your post(s) on owls and hawks. Amazing birds.

Cloudia said...

how extraordinary, D!


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Sharon said...

Beautiful owl! Never heard that little rhyme before.

Xavi said...

Hi Denise,
Always Is very interesting visit your lovely blog.
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a nice day.
Hugs from BCN

KaHolly said...

Great post, beautiful owl!! Looking forward to more from your opportunity!!

Roean said...

What interesting birds they are. It's true. They just watch and listen and keep it all to themselves.

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful shot! Owls are such gorgeous birds.

Cezar and Léia said...

So adorable owl!I'm anxious to see more pictures and read your stories!
Hugs
Léia

TheWiseOldOwl said...

Liked your post, it increased my knowledge of owls. My interest started when I adopted the brand name "The Wise Old Owl" for a range of natural health products for senior citizens

imac said...

Denise, well done my friend, what a super shot, and fit for a great Header too.

Wind Dance said...

I love your owl picture. I used to say that nursery rhyme to my children while I was pushing them in their swing.

Mama-Bug said...

Beautiful owl; I love seeing this wonderful birds. I hear them quite frequently at night here where I live.

MarieElizabeth said...

Very nice photo and great thought to ponder.

Margaret Cloud said...

A fascinating story, I have always thought the Owl as a wise old bird. Will be looking forward to seeing and hearing more.

Sissy said...

What wonderful photo you've taken! The owl is awesome!