Yesterday an MLO (Medium Large Owl) emerged fresh from the kiln, all mute greens and golds, looking wind-blown and content. I’d built this owl outside on the back porch, in a plein-air studio annex location during our in-between-not-too-hot-not-too-cold season, and I put it back outside to save indoor shelf space. Anything on the porch is considered Part of the Field by the local wildlife: the raccoons drink from the water bucket on my work table, the finches and doves and cactus wrens forage around it, and Hoover the hand-tamed African Collared Dove, perched on it, hoo-ing, as he had all through the construction process.
<< Hoover on MLO (all photos A.Shock, click to embiggen)
For him, landing on the clay owl’s head to cock his seed-beady eye at me and beg for safflower and peanuts is no different from landing on a branch or a chair-back to seed-schnorr.
Still, Good Feathery Detail is its own virtue — this plastic Snowy Owl purchased here in Phoenix (and fully 100% guaranteed to be totally unrecognizable as a threat to desert birds) became ours simply on the strength of its shapely molding and piercing yellow eyes. It stands impotently in our herb garden perfectly disregarded by greens-pecking quail hens and greedy-cheeked rock squirrels. Still, despite slightly opaque corneas (UV causes cataracts, you know!), you can tell from its expression that it takes its job very seriously. And in fact, we never have had even one lemming in the garden yet.
By the way, the Medium Large “Windblown” Owl (18″, top photo) will be available (without dove) at the Three Star Owl booth at the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival at the end of the month. It’s hand-built, glazed stoneware, one of a kind, and perfectly suited to deter pests (or not) in your garden or outside living space. (The cheap plastic snowy owl effigy is not for sale, sorry; we fear too greatly potential inroads of the arctic vole here in Phoenix. You can’t be too vigilant when it comes to inroads, or so our governor tells us.)