One spring a few years back, we were out looking for owls in the Columbia Valley, in southeast  British  Columbia. We had pulled off to the side of the road and had the windows down, listening to a Pygmy Owl. Well, a car was approaching us and, just to keep my eyes accustomed to the dark, I was kind of scrunched down in my seat with my arm up in front of my eyes, as the car’s lights were shining right at us.

The car passed us, then swung around and out jumped a Royal Canadian Mounted Police constable. I opened my window and he said, “Are you having any problems?”

Before I could even say anything, Marianne leaned over and said, “Oh, no officer, we’re just, you know, listening to owls. Little Pygmy Owls.”

You had to see the look on the officer’s face. He kind of smiled and winked and said, “OK, well you have a good evening.”

I can just imagine him going back to the detachment and saying, “You should have seen what I ran into tonight. Pygmy Owls!”

This was probably my most embarrassing moment. And living in a small town, of course everybody knows everybody and it wasn’t long before everyone knew we were out “listening to owls.”

Larry Halvorsen, Radium Hot Springs, B.C., Canada