There is a trail on Clydel Mountain that is said to lead to a collection of old stone pools. These luminescent wellsprings of elemental magic provide an increase in vitality to those who drink from it. Wildlife in the surrounding area has been reported to give off a similar arcane glow.
FOREST AT NIGHT – Crickets Owls Rain Wind in Trees – Relax Study Sleep De-Stress
For centuries, people have attached symbolism to owls. Some believe they’re wise, while others sense doom with their very presence.
As a child, Kellie Phillips couldn’t make herself look at owls. Their call and presence scared her.
A Lakota, Phillips was taught that owls are messengers. They themselves are not bad, but they often bring bad messages.
“You don’t know what the message is, but it is a heads up. It’s saying look out for yourself or your family,” she said.
“It’s not a premonition; it’s just something to keep in the back of your mind.”
As a college student in Sheridan, Phillips started volunteering for Diane Morse, founder and director of Northeast Wyoming Bird Rescue and Rehab Morse. There she learned more about owls. They can still make her uneasy, but she’s better than her mother and sister who would rather never hear their hoot or see their large eyes.
Centuries ago, people viewed owls as full of wisdom and helpfulness, with powers of prophecy, Peters said.
But, by the Middle Ages in Europe, opinions changed and owls became associated with witches and dark, lonely places.
“It was thought their eerie call filled them with foreboding or apprehension,” Peters said.
Their silent flight didn’t help their image, either.
Unlike other raptors, such as hawks or eagles, great horned owls have feathers lined with tiny feathers, Morse said.
This makes their flight silent, which can be unnerving when they dive through the trees searching for a rodent.
In the Northwest United States, some of the American Indian tribes believed owls represented a deceased person’s soul, Peters said, and therefore should not be harmed.
“When an owl was killed, the person to whom the soul belonged would also die,” she said.
Among her files on owl beliefs she collects for storytelling, Peters found an Iroquois story, rewritten and told by Susan Milford.
The story describes an owl that teased and sneered at other birds for requesting flashy feathers and colors from the Great Everything Maker. The Great Everything Maker told the owl to stop being so nasty, but the owl continued.
With one hand, the Great Everything Maker took the owl from a branch, pushed the owl’s head deep down in his body and shook it by the ears until its eyes “opened wide as big and round as saucers.”
Then the Great Everything Maker said:
“I hope you like the way you look. You don’t have much of a neck, but at least now you won’t be able to watch what you’re not supposed to. Your ears are plenty big, too, so perhaps you’ll listen when someone tells you what not to do. As for your eyes, they won’t do you any good when the sun is shining. They’re much better suited to the dark. Enjoy your nights, Owl, when you’re awake, the rest of us will be fast asleep.”