Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Owls In Wilson Holler

My life in appalachia - Owls In Wilson Holler
Last Saturday morning when I got down to Pap’s big garden the first thing I noticed was an owl sitting on the hood of my older brother Steve’s truck. It’s his work truck and he parks it near the garden on weekends to have more room in his driveway. As soon as I seen the owl I thought now that’s a picture I need to take.

I didn’t ask him, but I’m positive Steve put the fake owl there to scare off the birds who’ve become enamored by their reflection in his truck mirrors. The birds see themselves in his large side mirrors then preen and peck always leaving a mess behind.

The plastic owl has been around a good long while, it usually sits on an old basketball goal near Steve’s house. I’m not sure what it scares off there-maybe the same birds.

I started writing this post intending to write something silly about the owl because it’s sorta kooky to sit a fake owl on your truck hood.

Tipper and steve

Steve and Tipper – 1970 something

Steve is 5 years older than me and I’m 4 years older than Paul. It seems like Steve has always been an adult. He seemed like he was born knowing how to maneuver through this world while Paul and I floundered along this way and that before finally finding our groove.

I think one of the reasons Steve made it easily through the pitfalls of growing up is he has never cared what people thought of him. He was born with a practical nature that over rules any sort of peer pressure he might have ever felt.

Steve sees a problem and decides how to fix it, then he goes about solving the problem in as direct manner as you’ve ever seen with never a thought to people like me who would poke fun of his fake owl.

I can just hear him say “Well it works don’t it?”


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    March 14, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Yes-Granny made my cool 70s outfit with the bell bottoms : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    March 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I am soooo excited!!!! I can’t wait to get Grannie’s toboggan-THANK YOU! Steve soumds a lot like Mitchell-for good or ill they’re gonna make their way through this world on their own terms. It can drive me nuts sometimes, but I still think the world could use more of it-

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    March 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I love owls. I have a large collection and they often visit me in dreams. I have been happy to hear them in my little woods twice in the last two weeks. I would put one on my truck, if I had a truck.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    First, I love that pic with the freshly plowed soil and tractor in the background.
    Second, that outfit you are wearing in that picture of you and Steve is adorable. Did Granny make it?
    Lastly, me and Steve have a lot in common. I don’t care much about what people think of me and my ways.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Tipper – The sun has almost gone down here and I remember my Momma used to say, “If there is something you want to do or say that is good, don’t let the sun go down before you do or say it.” Well, I’ve never met Steve but, everybody has said what a nice person Steve is (and I have no reason to doubt). Still, he will always remain in my memory as the little boy that it was said kept the vigil so as to warn everyone if his little sister was about to tip over! Good job Steve.

  • Reply
    :( Ed :( Ammons :c
    March 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Oh well, It’s gettin too warm for a boggin anyway, Maybe next winter, huh. Anyway Suzi probably deserves it more than me. Her head probably gets colder that mine. If I need one I guess I can hunt up my Carolina Blue Tarheels “made in China” boggin. Oh well, but my feelings ain’t hurt. I just got something in my eyes.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I just found your blog today. Been looking at it off and on all day. I live in Western Kentucky in the house I grew up in. My mom’s wildflower garden is still here after 50 yrs. The bloodroot,trout lily,toothwort, yellow violets and spring beauty are blooming. the bluebells are starting to bloom and the pawpaws have flower buds on them. I saw a question mark butterfly this morning. in mid March! I can appreciate your pride in your land and your family. Your blog is so interesting. I watched one of the videos and you don’t sound anymore like a hick than I do. I’ll be checking back often. Oh I love the music. You all have beautiful voices. I think I’m partial to Jerry! Great blog!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    The owls we normally call hoot owls are barred owls, distinctive for their somewhat eerie eight-note call—”Who Cooks for You, Who Cooks for Yoouuuu”. But if you want the sounds of an insane asylum let three or four of them start laughing.
    The great horned owl also hoots, but at a much lower volume.
    All of this is meaningful to me because there’s probably no better way to get a turkey to gobble at first light this time of year than to offer a decent rendition of an owl hoot. Of course I’ve got a country music friend who turns all of this around a bit. He sings an audience participation song where those listening are asked to owl hoot after each verse. Then at the conclusion, with something of an evil grin, he says: “My, I’ve seen some fine hooters in my time, but . . . (think the restaurant chain if this stumps you).
    Ken, the weird cry of the Indian hen will also make a turkey gobble, but the bird isn’t a yellowhammer. It’s a pileated woodpecker. My favorite name for it is the “Lord God Bird,” so named because when folks hear one give voice for the first time they sometimes say, “Lord God, what was that?”
    I reckon that’s enough absolutely useless information for one day, but turkey season is drawing nigh and that gets the codger’s juices flowing.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Brian Blake
    March 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Steve is a true “son of the pioneers.” If our ancestors decided to load a wagon and head west, that’s what they did. “It works, don’t it?”

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    He is the oldest? They always seem blessed with knowing their way in the world, I am the baby and for sure didn’t get that blessing!!! I still don’t know what to be when I grow up.
    Love the owl, it’s a great idea. HA We had a band of peacocks that roamed our neighborhood (when we lived in the country in MI), the king of the band loved to beat up his reflection in our car. He was big so we left him alone, the car went in the garage to protect us and it.

  • Reply
    Darlene LaRoche
    March 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Congrats to Suzi. Staying true to ones self is one of the most important things in life.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    You had me! I thought it was going to be a real owl, until I saw the picture. We have bluebirds that fight their reflections in the side mirrors on the trucks; sometimes they leave blood on the mirror!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Amen to Steve’s thought process!
    Diggin’ your groovy outfit Tipper!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 11:53 am

    From time to time I hear Screech
    Owls and Hoo Dowels in my hollar.
    But Sunday as I was gettin’ ready
    to work on my water system, I had
    a couple of wood hens making their
    favorite racket just above all them laurals. I think that’s the
    same thing as a Yellow Hammer. We
    use to get one occassionally and make the best Fly Hooks. Trout
    just couldn’t resist ’em if you
    tipped the hook with a wasper
    larvie. Matter of fact, you had to
    get behind a tree to bait your hook…Ken

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    March 13, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Steve is a great person.. He sure does know his business when it comes to fixing things.. When I call the gas company I always pray they send Steve.. He has fixed my stove so many times it ain’t funny..I knew he was the oldest but didn’t know how much younger you were.. Paul was two years younger than my son..Your whole family is awesome.. I never get tired of hearing your music and I have some older ones of your pap..

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    March 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Well, ain’t that a “Hoot”!!!LOL
    Every Spring we have these “lovesick birdies” flying at their reflections in the windows and car/truck mirrows…..One year a Mocking bird nearly caused hisself to get caught by our cat by continually knocking at the side mirrow, alerting the cat to his presence…..I was tempted to glue a picture of a cat or another bird on the mirrows…LOL
    He finally gave up when he and his beloved started building the nest…LOL
    Great pictures!!
    You know what, sometimes one has to get in there and solve the problem the best they can at the time and “ain’t it “If the “fixit” works, don’t break it”…errr or is it..”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”…
    Great Post, Tipper..
    Congratulations Suzi…

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Plus in a crowded parking lot, Steve could spot his truck easily. Neighbors had a woodpecker who started each a.m. waking them up in the morning by pecking at the chimney cap. So neighbors got a new chimney cap. The woodpecker loves the metal cap even more!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Your brother sounds kind of like my Dad! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

    i had an owl like that one when i went through my collecting of owls period many years ago. he sounds just like my hubby, the way you describe him is like you know Bob. and sometimes i wish i were like they are.

  • Reply
    Pam Moore
    March 13, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I love owls. They live in the old snag tree we left in our backyard and in the owl house we built for them. When DD was a baby there were always two little owls perched on the outside windowsill next to her changing table for her to look at during her morning diaper change. They would fly off when we were done, but were back the next morning.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Your brother has a very admirable trait…I wish I could be more like that.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 13, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Cute outfit on that little girl! I bet Grannie made it too.
    Hey, if it works, don’t mess with Steve.
    Congratulations to Suzi on the Grannie toboggan!

  • Reply
    Barb Johnson
    March 13, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I have a brother like that..he isnt the oldest..he is the oldest boy though. In fact he is smack dab in the middle of 12 kids! (4 boys 8 girls) but he does seem to be the oldest. We all look up to him and love him very much.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    March 13, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Last year, we had a male cardinal that was attacking his reflection in the windows of the house, mirrors on cars, everything that reflected.
    The owl worked for a couple of days til the bird figured it out. Finally, the cardinal disappeared, but only after months of slamming into the windows, sometimes several times a minute.
    I don’t enjoy cardinals like I used to…

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 13, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Is that bell bottoms on little Tipper?

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