Blog Jam 8: Why music can be dangerous

Last month just past sunset, I drove the highway between the bay and the old airfield. With radio music blaring, I conducted the air waves with my left hand, when out of the dusk shot a big white blur, white feathers taking up my driver’s side window. Instinctively, I swerved. The bird swerved with me, tilted and zoomed like a hummingbird, hovering somehow for a second in front of my windshield, looking quite as shocked as I was. A snowy owl isn’t supposed to be in California. The ghost bird with up-to-five-foot wingspan lives in the extreme Canadian north, occasionally dipping only as far south as southwestern Canada. But one was seen in these parts four years ago. And now I’ve seen the same or another bird three times in the past month, always in the same place. Recovering after our first shock-and-awe meeting, I figured the owl had mistaken my conducting hand for a flailing morsel. But it wasn’t concentrating on my hand. It was drilling into my eyes. 

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