Skip to content

Meet my garden spirit guide

The owl

So I’m heading into the house this morning, by the winter front door, which is a door cut into the attached-garage door (it’s easier to keep clear of snow than the real front door…). Kinda zoned out and lost in thought, I was on my final step, arm out, automatically reaching for the door handle, when suddenly, whoaaa!, I froze and stepped back. By mere inches, I’d almost grabbed a handful of OWL. There’ve been owls in the barn, and an owl can be seen once in a while sitting on a pole in the farmhouse backyard, but we definitely don’t have owls calmly hanging out on the front door handle. This had to mean something. This had to be a Sign! Owl hanging out on a door handleThe owl was just perched there, perfectly laid back, kinda squinty, looking at me. It didn’t flinch. I took another few steps back to check things out. It watched me, unperturbed. Hmmm… I checked it out for a couple of minutes, kinda walking around, moved closer again, slowly reached towards it. No problem, it just watched me back. Then I headed to the Milkhouse for my camera, returned, and still the owl. It let me come as close as I liked. It really didn’t seem to mind me being well within touching distance, a couple of feet away. A few minutes later, Bob went by and I called him over. The owl was unfazed by TWO people looming around (since it was my owl encounter, maybe at that moment, Bob didn’t really exist?). After a couple more minutes, looking perfectly airworthy, it calmly flew away through the four feet of space between us… And it was gone. So what was up with the owl? Could be that, with youthful naivety (it looked…young), and the natural confidence of a predator high on the food chain, and maybe being tired out by too much flying, and having to squint in the bright sun, it just didn’t care. That’s possible. More likely, though, it was simply there to hook me up with forces unseen and the entire spirit world. It gazed at me for a long time and I felt good. At last, my spirit guide revealed! Of course, I had to vet all of this and get more words and meaning, so I rushed inside and hit the Web. Wooo… Glancing at the first search results got me worried, all messenger of death stuff. But, the fantastic thing about the Web is, keep looking and you can find whatever you want! Like this page, much more…REASONABLE, that explained how cool having a personal owl encounter is, with words like “wisdom”, “protector” and “symbolic of inner knowing”. I particularly liked: “If an owl has visited you, an incredible gift has been bestowed.” This is good! Thanks!! Life on this tiny farm now walks with the owls…
(It’s a fully-grown adult northern saw-whet owl; thanks to Sharon the BirdChick for ID-ing it in the comments below!)



  1. mike-

    what a cool creature. i love when the animal world decides to grace us with their presence. definitely a good thing.

  2. Marvelous owl photo
    Fabulous experience
    Wonderful post
    Excellent blog

    Thanks for sharing all of the above.

  3. Katie

    How cool is that? Looking into the eyes of an owl is a very interesting experience, which I think you’ve captured here. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh, what a privilege!

    Do you know what kind of an owl it was?

  5. It’s a northern saw-whet owl. That’s an adult and that’s as big as they get.

  6. OMG Mike – how lucky you are!! My hubby and I spent half the afternoon today craning our necks to look up at the cedar waxwings that have taken to the spruce in our backyard. When we weren’t watching them, our eyes were darting between the starlings, chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers that were competing on the lower branches. Birds are wonderful creatures. :)

  7. dig this chick

    holy hell that is so cool.

  8. whoaaaa!

    actually when I think about it, this event is in line with you and your blog: extraordinary expression of life and creativity.

    Happy Easter :)

  9. Very cool! And a great photo too.

  10. Oh how wonderful, Owls are such lovely birds.

    Have a wonderful Easter.

  11. Steve Mudge

    I had the curious experience of having an owl waking me up in the middle of the night, squawking right outside my window above my bed—I mean he was really going at it! Next morning I left for a trip to Baja California and my friend’s truck preceded to get stuck in a river and it took us close to 24 hours to get it out–quite the adventure! So these spirit animals can be valuable in that way…

  12. Wow. A very amazing experience.

    I’ve only been reading tiny farm blog for a short bit, but I am loving experiencing your farm life via the WWW.

  13. The tiny farm blog is excellent! We have 6 rescued battery hens at home and have really got a handle now on managing them thanks to you 101 guide. 6 a day every day! great photo. Cheers Jo.

  14. Your Owl is a Saw-whet Owl which is a very small owl.  You had an unusual encounter with such an elusive creature, but I must say, Saw-whets defensive tactic is strange.  It stays still, hoping the predator will move on.  That is what happened in your instance.  I’ve encountered 2 in my experience, and both were very approachable.  It’s as if they are tame, but indeed they are not.  It’s their nature to remain still.  Google it for detailed info. Cute Blog!

  15. Hannibal: Thanks for the info, and it doesn’t in any way spoil my experience. :)  I think it’s great to know behaviors from observation, it’s like watching how everything grows in its own way in the garden. Just being able to hang out so close, without physically doing anything, both of us unrestrained and free to go, is the kinda magical part, the owl kinda entered the human environment, sitting on the handle on the house, and let us for a few minutes into its world just by being there. Whatever was going on in our heads, for a while we looked eye-to-eye and had a visit. That was cool!

  16. I just love this story!

  17. groip

    I know this is an old post, but Steve (if you ever read this), what do you mean by, “So these spirit animals can be valuable in that way…”?  Are you trying to say that the owl was somehow connected to the rivering of your friend’s truck?  Even if it was, I don’t understand how that’s “valuable.”  Sounds more like…really bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.