©Poems of R.F.Mueller- Other Times, Other Thoughts
In the barred owl's night
you're rushing spring's contrivance
to last all year.
And in the daylight your cold waters
catch the sun in glorious ramp
of riffles no deeper than my knee—
grandly ingnoring the needs of fishermen for holes;
giving instead your endless slant of cobbles so prodigal.
We need more mountain rivers
that waste as you do,
whose only sure gifts are the greatest—
music, solitude and light.
Little River is a mountain stream not far from our Virginia farm. The native large owl on our farm is the Great Horned (Bubo virginianus), while the most widespread large owl in the nearby mountains is the Barred Owl (Strix varia). The two appear to be incompatible, as the Great Horned probably hunts the smaller Barred. The Horned Owl also probably preempts the biologically richest habitats, which are more typically valley agricultural areas.