Forest Phantom

Just like any other day, the forest begins with the songs of the white breasted nuthatch, the tufted titmouse and the occasional loud

squawk of the blue jay. It is spring time following a long hard winter, and food has not always been easy to
find.

The edge of this pine forest opens up to small meadow. Sprigs of green are mingled among the still dormant
brown grasses. There is a rustling in the grass as two field mice search for their breakfast, but above them, carefully watching this meadow, is the ultimate hunter. No motion can be seen, but there, perched only 15 feet above the action is a male great horned owl. Still hungry from a failed attempt at night hunting, his piercing yellow eyes focus intently on the two mice.

His feathers perfectly hide him, and he looks as if he is just part of the tree on which he is perched. Then, all at once, in one perfect motion, he hops into the air and glides toward his unsuspecting targets. He makes no noise during his focused glide and before the
mouse can move, the great talons of the owl sink into its prey and literally squeeze the rodent to death.

The owl will eat today and continue to thrive in the forest. Created to kill rodents of all kinds, and even larger birds, the great horned owl keeps the population of these animals to a minimum. Without this bird and others like it, we may have been overwhelmed with disease spreading vermin, and the delicate balance of the animal
kingdom disrupted forever.

[Taken from Reflections of the Creator, Volume 1 by Matt Cuda]

Link to Image:  https://www.mattcudaart.com/warehouse-open-edition-prints/art_print_products/great-horned-owl?product_gallery=88001&product_id=3362037