Harris: Owl Whisperer

This is a photo of Henry with Harris, who was, for all practical purposes Henry’s big brother. Harris is 3.5 years older than Henry and was his dearest friend from the day Henry came home from the hospital. One of the first photos of newborn Henry has 3 year old Harris gazing down at him adoringly. And Henry grew up idolizing Harris and Harris’s 3 older brothers. Whatever they did, Henry wanted to do too.

Henry, the week he turned 18 and Harris, age 21

harris and henry


Recently, Harris had a rather remarkable experience while out in the woods near Bell Buckle, TN – our shared hometown – and he’s agreed to let me share it with y’all. These are his own photos and words.


I was hiking through the hills around Bell Buckle when I stumbled across an owl with a broken wing.



He was hesitant to let me get too close to him, but through a lot of sitting and talking calmly, he let me creep in.



Every time I got too close he would cluck at me and puff up.



Our best way of communication became our eyes. He would blink or wink and I would return the gesture.


After about an hour of sitting very calmly and not moving too much I was able to get this close.


I sang Little Feat’s “Willin'” to him, and after that he let me in.



Words can’t explain the excitement of being able to do this.



Sleeping, on the way to the vet’s office



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