By Lee Scott
Several years ago, I walked into my kitchen after a long day at work only to find an 18-inch owl perched on the kitchen counter. Fortunately, it was not real.
The owl sitting there was a solar-powered replica made to scare away birds. My spouse sat there with a flashlight shining on the owl’s head as I watched it spin around.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked amazed. I could not believe that he had been hoodwinked into buying something this bizarre.
“You just wait,” he assured me. “This is going to work!” He was tired of the mess the birds were making on our dock and wanted to do something different. This was different.
Well, as it turned out, the owl was no ordinary owl. It was made out of recycled materials and had been sculpted and hand painted to look like a Great Horned Owl — a fearsome looking creature. And there, on the top of its head, was a small solar panel set to rotate the head around every two minutes. And if for some reason there was no sunlight, a gentle breeze could still rotate the owl’s head.
My husband ignored my pessimistic comments and prepared the owl for our dock. First, he attached the owl to a piece of plywood. Then, he tied the board to a piling on our dock. The next day when I got home, he beckoned me down to the water’s edge. We sat there on our chairs watching as the owl’s head spun around every few minutes. And, lo and behold, there across the creek, sitting in the trees, were the birds watching the owl; as if waiting for it to leave. But, she stayed on that dock until we moved here two years ago.
It has been more than five years since Olga the Owl (my name for her) has been with us. The dock stayed clean all those years at our home in Maryland and we now have her perched on our back porch in the Lowcountry. When company comes to visit, they always take a second look at her and I tell the story about how she came to us, and how I had to eat my disbelieving words spoken at our first encounter. Olga is still spinning her head and doing her job.