Guest Column: Letter from Dogwood

David Black lives in Louisa County.

 

I suspect most people have never seen a live owl. One reason is, of course, that many are nocturnal, a habit so well-known that we humans call someone who keeps late hours a “night-owl.”

Despite this limited acquaintance, owls have become familiar characters in superstitions and myths. Some associations are morbid—the owl as a messenger to the dead in various Native American myths, for one. Similarly, some people regard their hoots as portending death. I see no particular reason for these legends, but superstitions are seldom rational.

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