Common Nighthawk

Chordeiles minor

I have an affection, and I’m sure I chronicled the event here, some place in the archives, I was fishing, off the dock at the old trailer park, pulling a topwater lure through the lake’s surface when a huge night owl of some version swooped down to grab at the lure. I waved the owl off, but it was face-to-face with me for a few heartbeats. Wingspan felt like it was close to six feet. Wasn’t a wounded fish that was good eating, just my fishing lure.

Good kind of bait, though, if it attracted a night prowler.

Sister will bear this out, a giant snow owl of some sort found us on a wandering hike through some place in Northern Cal. Another big bird.

At the death of a friend’s mom, the memorial/wake, there was two small owls — South Austin — sitting on the back fence as harbingers of the dead.

Sturnella neglecta

The question was “Lark or Owl?”

Both. In tune with my own circadian rhythms, dates back to living in AZ while at the University, the summer’s “first light” would come as early as, like, as I recall, 4:30 AM. My cat wanted food then. I’d feed her, read part of the newspaper, let the other cat in, then work (write) for a while. I’d be done with a half day’s work by 8 or so in the morning.

When I was living the monk-like existence, cloistered in my cell (trailer), I found I answered a similar allotment of time. I’d work from when I woke up, fix coffee, feed the cat, write, until I was done by either the arbitrary goal, self-made guidelines, or the necessity of other work, be that astrological or something else.

San Antonio has been kind in some way. Good food. Interesting melting pot of culture with more diversity and better flavors than other places I’ve lived. Good arts community I never manage to get hooked up with, though.

My San Antonio schedule is more structured to accommodate sweethearts and such ilk. I’ve taken to a morning walk, weather conditions permitting, meandering way along the creek, the acequia, perhaps through historic neighborhood, generally finding myself at the only open coffee shop at the dawn hour.

Wandering home, more direct route. Settling and writing. The walk averages more than three but less than five miles in length, takes an hour, hour and a quarter.

I can sleep until noon, and I can stay up all night, reading a good book, or even a mediocre text, as long as it’s entertaining, yet my internal clockwork likes up in the morning.

How early? Depends. Five is too early for anything but fishing. However, as of this summer, it’s been about perfect for the early walk, as it’s almost cool out.

I prefer whatever time I’m up.

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