A Great Horned Owl Moves Into the Garden

This Spring, we added a new shade structure to the East side of the back garden. We built it out of Restoration Juniper landscape timbers from Sustainable Northwest Wood and topped it with an old metal propagation table. We installed a quarter-minus gravel patio underneath the structure. And I was finally able to use the free adirondack chairs that I had found on the side of the road and had been storing in the garage. My Pirate built a table to connect the two chairs and we refinished them with a coat of lime paint. The total project cost less than $300. 

 the back garden on a June morning

the back garden on a June morning

I was thrilled with how our new project turned out. And we used the space, until someone new moved into the garden and started making a mess.

 Come take a seat.

Come take a seat.

 Or not.

Or not.

 An owl pellet hanging on the propagation table roof with fur and bones sticking out of it.

An owl pellet hanging on the propagation table roof with fur and bones sticking out of it.

In July, owl pellets and whitewash rained down on our new shade structure. We felt like targets sitting in the chairs, so we abandoned the space and hoped that the owl would move on. Listening to owl calls, I learned that a Great Horned Owl had joined us. I've heard them in the backyard for years. I'm really happy to have a new resident that likes to eat moles and rodents.

 Owl art 

Owl art 

                                           Part of the view from the shade structure in August

                                          Part of the view from the shade structure in August

During my research, I found an educational owl pellet video and started singing the little ditty to My Pirate. He wasn't impressed, but maybe you'll enjoy it and sing along.

Here's a Great Horned Owl calling out. I love listening to them.  

So, next spring we're going to add a galvanized steel roof to the shade structure that will match our main pergola. In all of my planning, I never considered an owl moving in right about the structure and turning us into targets for whitewash and owl pellets. Gardening is an adventure that never fails to entertain and amuse me.

What critters live in your garden?

                                           looking East through the pergola in August

                                          looking East through the pergola in August