April 4, 2011
Views, Springs, and Owls
As we neared the cave after a 10 mile ride, the animals were ready for a drink. Above, Daisy is standing on a precipice with a 500 foot sheer drop into a sandstone amphitheatre, where Steve suspected we would find a spring. We looked down and saw water flowing. All we had to do was find a way to reach it. After rejecting a few scary burro trails, we finally found a trail made by some of the smarter, safety-minded burros. We followed the smart trail and reached the bottom of the canyon without incident.
This Western Screech-Owl is no more than 9 inches in length and weighs only about 5 ounces.
Owl feathers have a comb-like or fringe-like leading edge of their primary wing feathers. With a normal bird in flight, air rushes over the surface of the wing, creating turbulence, which makes a gushing noise. With an Owl's wing, the comb-like feather edge breaks down the turbulence into little groups called micro-turbulences. This effectively muffles the sound of the air rushing over the wing surface and allows the Owl to fly silently. http://www.owlpages.com/articles.php?section=Owl+Physiology&title=Feathers
The Western Screech-Owl eats rodents and insects.
And yes, it's unusual to see one in the daytime.