https://glowlab.blogs.com > Christina Ray :: Tyto Alba House

In late September 2003 I explored an old house in Shandon, California which had been discovered by my father a few months earlier. I named it the "Tyto Alba House" because the barn and house, probably built in the late 1800's, have been taken over by a number of Tyto alba, or Barn owls. These owls have beautiful white faces, and appear almost like ghosts sitting quietly in the rafters. I only managed to get a couple quick photos in the pitch-dark barn, and you can hardly see the owl, but this is what they really look and sound like. When we reached the second floor of the house, two more owls flew away to nearby trees to wait until we left. I haven't learned much about the house yet, but in addition to owls, it is inhabited by so many bees the whole house was buzzing while we were there [and yes, I was stung]. Most of the roof has blown away, leaving only the beams. There is hardly any trash inside and no graffiti -- just a few scratches on the walls -- and the entire property appears to be relatively undisturbed. The house has been emptied of all furniture except a couple of chair fragments, and the kitchen cabinet drawers have been removed and placed on the counter. The floor and stairs are broken in places, littered with plaster from the walls and ceilings, and completely covered in feathers. After visiting the house I stopped by the barn again and picked up a small, sun-bleached raven's skull as a souvenir...

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