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Critter-Spotting on a Foggy Night

September 12, 2010

A foggy night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets… and me, prowling along in my little car, hoping it would share them. Not the kind of secrets found in City Hall or downtown in the dark alleys… critters.

Foggy nights are often good for critter-spotting. On Panorama Drive, I saw a trio of raccoons chase each other across the road and disappear into the shadows between two houses. And then, on Twin Peaks, which was densely swathed in fog, a barn owl!

I’ve been wanting to see one, ever since learning that they do inhabit San Francisco. This one was sitting by the side of the road, like a large white cat wanting to thumb a ride. Cursing myself for forgetting my camera, I stopped the car and put my flashers on to watch it.  I was afraid someone coming fast round the bend might take it out, and wished it would move. It walked down the road a bit, which didn’t help. Two cars went around me.  Then the  owl took flight, just a few feet, but thankfully onto the hillside.

I went home for my camera, but the owl had moved on. At least it wasn’t roadkill.

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