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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


While We're On The Subject


Of Barn Owls that is.
It occurs to me that I've yet to tell you a tale of where my owlish love began: in the second story of a elderly farm house on a street called Louie.  I was still in single digits of age.  My sisters and I grew up in a house partly made of science, partly made of magic, and full of encouragement to question and explore.  My father was the town science teacher, known by each and every child still in school.
I realize this is sounding like the opening to a Mary Shelley novel and while we did have a great many questionable objects floating in formaldehyde, and what I'm about to reveal may lie akin to grave robbing, we were a somewhat respectable family living in California's central valley in the 1980's.
My first experience with barn owls was not so much with the birds themselves, but rather with their digestion.  On special Saturdays my father would deliver a few choice nuggets coughed up by local barn owls, filled with the remains of their prey.  Delighted, I would spread out my tools:
And ever so carefully, while other children watched The Flintstones and Small Wonder, I would dissect owl pellets, carefully identifying rat femurs and mouse vertebrae.  Consulting creased pages with drawing of bones, spreading digested fur out to see if any treasures lingered behind.
What kind of wonderful creature was the owl!
They could swivel their heads 280 degrees, soar soundlessly through the night, scare the pants off of you if you happened to be wandering in the dark, AND their stomachs did all the work of forks and knives and cutting boards and garbage compressors.  And if that wasn't enough, they delivered all the information of who they found in swaying grasses and lonely country roads in a tidy little pellet for my scrutiny.
And so the love affair was born.
While it's been a great many years since I had the pleasure of a pellet, it's easy to recall the first mysteries the owls presented to me.  I've been chasing them ever since.

~ Both the Barn Owl and Barn Owl Feathered Stones will be in the shop lickity split ~
~ I'm off to take the Pup to the dog park before he loses him mind ~