Afternoon barred owl

Around 3:00 pm, the light of the almost-setting sun was all wrong for owl portraiture, but you have to take your owls when you can get them. Throughout the school year, Wednesdays are my grading, household chore, and miscellaneous errand catch-up days…and the Wednesday of finals week always features more grading (and no fewer household chores and miscellaneous errands) than usual.

Last night, I submitted end-term grades for one online class, but there’s no rest for the wicked. Today has been one of those days when I’ve been running since 7:00 this morning, crossing off one to-do after another…and I haven’t even started grading yet. Before settling down to consider the papers, online discussion boards, and emails from frantic students, I had to go to various stores to pick up the usual odd assortment of Wednesday Gotta Haves: ice melt, warm socks, a telephone headset to replace the one that stopped working last week. I had to do laundry, retrieve another load of papers from my office, and renew my driver’s license. I still haven’t wrapped the packages I was supposed to ship this afternoon, and who knows when I’ll have time to do yesterday’s dishes or open last week’s mail. There are only so many hours in a day.

And yet, dogs must be walked. So this afternoon, on the way back from a quick trip to pick up a Wednesday Gotta Have I’d forgotten about, I took Reggie walking along the rail-trail off Krif Road, near the Keene State athletic fields. And there, in the almost-setting afternoon sun, we stirred up a barred owl who seemed to have nothing better to do than watch one harried blogger and her eager dog taking a Wednesday Gotta Have walk.  There are only so many hours in a day, and then the owls appear to rule the night.