The owl is about 18 inches tall and full of righteous intimidation. He's not as handsome as this art picture I made of him. In real life, he's brown and gray, more like a real owl. When I bought him two years ago at the feed and seed store, the man at the checkout said, "Trying to scare away some squirrels?"
I said yes and left it at that. We both knew it would probably not work.
It did work for a short while, though. Long enough to convince me to store it in the potting shed for another 2 winters. I have to set it upright every day, since it is light as a feather (no pun intended), and falls over at the slightest bit of breeze. An owl laying on its side is only half a threat at best, and no threat at all to a quick-witted squirrel.
This spring, in the early morning and late evenings, My husband and I have begun to hear a very real owl echo his haunting call into the Woods Out Back. It's a slow, deep sound that comes out of perfect silence, and we usually don't recognize it until the 3rd or 4th call.
My husband is always the first to take note. "There it is," he says, and he stops again to listen. "Did you hear that? It's the owl." Then I listen carefully, and once only, or if I'm lucky, two times I too hear the lonesome sound. It's as if the owl knows instantly that we are straining to hear him, so he hides back into the night. But it's too late! Like two stealth outsiders, we hear what no one else has heard. Or so it seems.