While driving on a wet and murky night, my husband and I were startled by something inexplicable rocketing into our windshield. Jesse backed up the car and I vaulted out to search for this mysterious projectile that I felt had to be a bird. The headlights revealed a beautiful and delicate creature, a saw-whet owl, lying on the side of the road. I gently picked him up and tucked him into my sweater, aware of his fast-beating heart against my slower human heart. I was heartbroken to feel the stillness when this lovely wild creature’s heart stopped.
That tiny owl bewitched me, leaving an imprint on my still-beating heart. I searched for a live Saw-whet owl that I could work with, as it feels natural and essential for me to articulate myself through the working of clay or wax.
Three months later, Bill Streeter, of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center, was kind enough to allow me to work with a live saw-whet named Mortimer. Working with this delightful owl enabled me to capture the essence of the tiny, feathered creature that briefly came into my life that rainy night.