|A Barred Owl sitting in the woods of Smiley's Bottom.|
|The owl looked at me from time to time, but generally seemed unconcerned.|
In past years we've seen a Barred Owl fly by as we watched dragonflies at Smiley's Bottom. This was the first time, however, that we had a good extended view. Later the same day we were enjoying listening to Common Yellowthroats when we heard a strange piping sound. We suspected a Virginia Rail, and sure enough we soon saw it creeping about in the vegetation along a ditch. It's a narrow bird – to help it slip between stems of plants. No surprise, then, that rails inspired the expression "thin as a rail."