Owls and the Homeless: When nature and reality meet

Nest with baby great horned owl taken with a small camera.

Look, there’s an owl nest.
Hey, check out the trout lilies.
And just ahead, there’s a homeless man sleeping.
So it goes at Turville Point Conservancy on a Saturday morning hike.

Turville Point is an green space near downtown Madison with impressive views of the state capitol building. Who knew that our hike would include social studies as well as natural science.

“Just walk by and try not to disturb his sleep,” I said. It didn’t work. “Hi, howya doing,” he said as we walked past. A few kids said hi back which I thought that was nice.

Afterwards we talked about how grateful we are to have a home. While the kids I work with have few resources, they all have more than this guy. It’s a stark bit of reality in an otherwise serene setting.

After we walked past him, we skipped stones on the water and spotted a baby owl in a huge owl nest. The kids enjoyed playing at the playground too.

Perhaps the kids went home and forgot about the man sleeping on the shores of Lake Monona, but I doubt it. I know I wont soon forget the day that the beauty of nature intersected with harshness of life.

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