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This season has brought on a serious case of avian fever! Here at ModCloth, all of our bird-inspired fare has garnered attention, but one order seems to have the most die-hard devotees : The Owls.
(Picture Courtesy of Cute Overload. com)
These observant loners seem unlikely candidates for popularity; their feathers pale in comparison to the bright plumage of the peacock and they lack the romantic symbolism of the dove or eagle. Yet, we are drawn to them. Perhaps it is their sense of solitude and mystery that attracts us– a beauty that isn’t flashy, but still hauntingly memorable. Perhaps we admire how comfortable they are in their own feathers, no matter how different they may be from the other birds.
There are, of course, many sayings and myths associated with owls: the highly-educated, spectacle-wearing “Wise Owl” and the rebellious, over-caffeinated “Night Owl” are common owl characters, but where did these concepts originate?
(Picture courtesy of Cute Overload.com)
One possible origin of the wise old owl myth may be its association with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena. She is often depicted with an owl companion in paintings and sculpture. Athena’s owl has even been found inscribed on coins:
(Picture courtesy of Strongbrains.com)
The magic and mystery associated with owls may be the result of their nighttime liveliness. Most owls are nocturnal birds of prey, which explains why you hear their hoots only in the evenings (by the way, that infamous hooting has to do with courting tactics). Their incredible night vision also accounts for their association with intelligence and clarity, as they can literally see things that diurnal (or, daytime) animals cannot!
Fun Owl Facts:
Haven’t had a chance to check out all of our awesome owl-inspired accessories? Here’s just a few that can be found right now at ModCloth.com!
Retro Roosting Tee
All My Owls Messenger Bag
Owl Parliament Earrings
Owl Pal Glasses Holder
Mr. Owl Scarf
Have some owl facts or stories of your own? I’d love to hear them!
MAGS. Did you know that medieval Christian pegged the owls as perverted animals because they could only see in the dark? We see this type of reference to owls in the work of Hieronymus Bosch’s left panel in his triptych, Garden of Earthly Delights (http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/b/bosch/3garden/index.html). Though this panel represents Eden and the marriage of Adam and Eve, the fall of mankind is foreshadowed by the various animal and avian acts in the lower half of the panel. The perverted acts only seen by the owl are brought to daylight in the central panel (http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/b/bosch/3garden/index.html).
Just a cheery thought to brighten up your modcloth entry.
And my mother would like to inform everyone that the owl is a mascot for Chi Omega sorority.
I am an artist with an interest in owls. I have drawn and painted about 100 owls which will be in a show on November 13 at 8 at the World of Wonder Gallery at 6650 Hollywood Boulevard. You can preview the art at
Did you know that owls’ eyes are very very large, and take up so much of their head that their brains are actually abnormally small. They’re not so wise after all!
Thanks for the comments – I’m impressed by all of your owl knowledge and expertise. Good luck with the show, Clancy!
This is late, but oh well…Did you know that the owl is Bryn Mawr College’s mascot and Athena is it’s official goddess…and BMC is the only school with a goddess. I love my school.
There’s no such thing as being too late to comment on the blog! Thanks for the info about Bryn Mawr…that’s awesome!
MAGS: I must inform you that I own not one … not two … but THREE vintage owl necklaces that are adorned with rhinestones! I also LOVE OWLS because, by association, they make me smarter.
Very nice site!
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