Tom: You all know about the red squirrel family that hangs out on the ledge in #1's study, sometimes as many as three at a time, eating at our generous buffet of walnuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds:
But we also have another kind of wildlife friend, and these are actually our lodgers as they have been living in our attic for a while now. We hear them a lot and they can be very noisy, especially the kids, but it is very rare for us to actually see them. So, it was a real treat a couple of nights ago when #1 and I not only saw them on our last walk before bed, but were actually able to take a photo of one of them:
Yes! That is a barn owl whose nickname in France is "White Lady." They have a heart-shaped face and are fierce hunters. The other interesting thing about them is that they are totally silent when they fly. You don't hear the wings at all. According to Wikipedia: "tiny serrations on the leading edges of its flight feathers help to break up the flow of air over its wings, thereby reducing turbulence and the noise that accompanies it." Anyway, they are super cool and we are very honoured to have them in our house!
In closing, I thought you might like a photo of me enjoying the great outdoors!