Recently I was walking in the parking lot at Lowe’s on Highway 90 late one evening and I saw an owl sitting on the pavement. He was still, silent and curious, wondering why I would approach him as he was minding his own business. As his head slowly turned around 190 degrees to stare at me as I slowly began to draw near, I began to ask him quietly why he was in the middle of a parking lot and not in a tree somewhere in the forest hunting.

Without warning, he launched himself quickly and silently into the air, leaving me not only to feel disappointed I didn’t get a selfie to share in social media, but also with the feeling I’d disrupted his evening constitutional.

One of the employees of the hardware store informed me the owl lives in the parking area and is seen on a regular basis.

“An owl?” I asked, “In the Lowe’s parking lot? He lives here? Are you serious?”

“Yes,” the girl tells me, “We see him all the time.”

Of course, I told myself I was just trying to be friendly in approaching him and trying to have a quick conversation and photo shoot. There’s no way for me to know this, but I assume he either must have left a nest close by as an owlet to frequent a populated store front or he’s stubbornly resisting a change of address.

I thought of X the wise old owl on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and how he yearned for knowledge and Owl in the book Winnie the Pooh and of his role as Pooh’s mentor when in actuality it was pretense. I was told the Victorians depicted owls as a symbol of wisdom and made tchotchkes for their homes out of silver and gold.

I’m certain the resident owl of the parking lot of Lowe’s is an intelligent creature and he’s doing a fine job of keeping the rodent population under control. However, if he doesn’t want company in the evening, perhaps he should keep to the trees.