Whispered in the windless pines of Wolters Woods Park, in the darkness, under the silent stars:
“Here’s a secret to calling owls – cup your hands so the sound echoes,” Sheila Postmus, naturalist with the Outdoor Discovery Center, explained to the about a dozen participants standing motionless on the trail in the “Superb Owl Prowl” on Friday night, Feb. 9, in the Laketown Township park.
“Whooo-Whooo-Who-Who?! Whooo-Whooo-Who-Who-Whooo?!” one participant called out.
In the distance, a barred owl replied through the night.
The free program sponsored by the Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission was the first Outdoor Discovery Center program for the year in the township parks.
The full list of spring and summer events in Laketown is not yet available, but past programs have included hikes at Sanctuary Woods Park, frog catching at Farview Park, blueberry picking at Huyser Farm Park and sensory exploration at Shore Acres Park.
As the sun was setting behind the towering trees at Wolters Woods Park, 6281 147th Ave. on Friday, Postmus explained owl habitat and anatomy to the group. From a carrier on the picnic table surrounded by lanterns, she carefully released a barred owl from the Outdoor Discovery Center Birds of Prey exhibit. The owl has a damaged wing and cannot fly. It gripped her arm and turned its head to observe the group.
Wolters Woods Park is about 37 acres of forested land with a creek running through it. The park includes a playground and pavilion.