Sitting with the Catahoula
on the steps this evening I heard that crazy mockingbird calling into the night. “Where is my mate? Where’s my mate?” I wish she would find him so he would hush. Contemplating his lonely plight, I noticed the Catahoula’s head pop up, ears perked as if he heard something interesting. It was a quiet Texas Hill Country evening. Recently dark, nothing was stirring that was visible or audible to me besides that crazy Mockingbird. Slowly he lowered his head down between his front paws and took a deep sigh but almost instantly he jerked his head back up and looked skyward as if he heard something in the stars. What is it you crazy dog, I thought to myself. I heard nothing, I saw nothing. Then, I was immediately startled by a loud hoot owl who was apparently sitting on the top of my trailer. Now and then I hear a pair of great horned owls calling back and forth to each other down by the creek. Here is one of them on my trailer not 10 feet above me and … I could hear another across the dirt road answering the one close by.
It was so close and so loud it sent shivers down my back. So the Catahoula knew he was there. Owls, being the quiet flying bombshells that they are, I never knew of his presence. Shifting my weight on the steps to try and get a visual, the steps squeaked and I saw, rather then heard the gliding shadow of the owl swooping down into the pasture in front of me. Wondering if he had caught something, I stepped into the trailer to get my flashlight and shined it across the way trying to see nature in action. I got up and began to walk into the dark hoping for a better view. As I swept the light beam across the tall grass, I noticed little blue green sparkles shining up from the ground. It was beautiful, mesmerizing… I kept one in sight, focusing as I got closer and closer to see what the origin of the reflection was.
As I bent over, I aimed my flashlight at the little blue green flash and I was amazed. It was a wolf spider. OK, I thought to myself… They aren’t all wolf spiders, or are they? I went to the next one following the reflection down to the ground and there again, a smaller but still… a Wolf spider. Seriously?! Can all of these be wolf spiders? I started looking for another one, followed it, and again another wolf spider. When I got back to the trailer, I looked up spiders and apparently they are night hunters. Their eyes glow in the dark for whatever reason. I’m sure mother nature knows. What an amazing nature world we have. She teaches me something every day, and night.