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Shh, readers, can I please have quiet… I’m hiking on a trail, eyeball to eyeball with a very cute animal and I don’t want to scare her off. She’s perched on a dogwood branch five feet from my face, looking right at me… her eyes are hypnotic… now she’s swiveling her head to the right, something has evidently caught her eye… she doesn’t seem afraid… seconds are ticking by but time is standing still… I hope she stays… now she’s turning her head back to me… our eyes are locked again. Hello, gorgeous. Oh no, she just flew off. Her wings didn’t make a sound. Whoooaahhh, today’s my lucky day!

It’s sundown and I’m on a trail behind Rim High School. I had just entered a low canopy of dogwood trees when I saw the flutter of wings over my left shoulder. I saw the silhouette of a bird landing on a branch in front of me and voila, there she was, resplendent as Marilyn Monroe at the Oscars. 

Ladies and gentlemen, she’s the femme fatale of the forest, may I present the pygmy owl. (Hold the applause please, she might come back.)

Hey homeowners, are pygmy owls and other predators not keeping your home rodent free? Then call us Home Defenders and we’ll swoop over for a free evaluation. Sure, we’re a team of butt ugly bug guys, but in our line of work, beauty doesn’t matter—we’re just good at what we do. (“Hey, man, speak for yourself!” say my employees.)

Well, that was a fun sighting—only in the mountains. I’ll be hiking in Big Bear tomorrow and who knows what I’ll see. And if you thought I drew out the suspense today, wait until I see a mountain lion. That’ll be a two-part article! (Unless he eats me for dinner.)

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