"...just a smile away from Whoville with a hint of It's a Wonderful Life."
—Huffington Post
Sinterklaas Send-Off Celebration, Kingston, New York
Sinterklaas Festival Day, Rhinebeck, New York

This Year’s Honored Animal: OWL


Wisdom • Mystery • Insight • Intuition • Night • Transition • Silence • Solitude • Watchfulness • Listening • Fearlessness • Foresight • Secrets • Dreams

Blessing of the OWL

When the coolness of night comes
Let go the burdens of the day.

270 degrees of vision in either direction
opens understanding of all possibilities.

Open your wings and silently fly in quiet darkness
To where you hear in the depths of the earth
The answer to your longing.

Your shoulders are strong.
Let me alight there
And whisper my wisdom for all time.

— Gigi Alvare, September 2016


The Owl can see even in the darkest times. With 270 degrees of vision, they can see things from all sides. This year we look at the Owl from the mystical, the natural and the mechanical sides as we host 
LIVE OwlS in flight, the Owl Queen of the Night and her companion Mouse, and a Giant Coo Coo Clock.

The Natural

There are 216 different species of Owls. They live on every continent except Antarctica. They live in all kinds of habitats. Snowy Owls live in the snowy tundra, while Burrowing Owls make their homes in prairies and deserts. The largest Owl in the world can be 33 inches long, while the smallest is only five inches!

The senses of Owls are so incredible they seem supernatural. An Owl’s enormous eyes are so sensitive that they can see in the dark. Since their eyes are so big, they cannot roll them in their sockets like humans can. Instead, they have to turn their entire heads. Owls can swivel their heads 270 degrees!

Owl hearing is also so sensitive that they can hear mice in total darkness. The Great Gray Owl can hear and pounce on a mouse that it heard moving around under a foot of snow!
Owls can fly without making a sound. A special soft fringe on the edges of their feathers enables their silent flight.

The Mystical

Tradition says the Owl appears during times when it is necessary to gain clarity in the darkness. The Owl can see that which others cannot, which is the essence of true wisdom. Where others are deceived, Owl sees and knows what is there.

When an Owl shows up in your life, pay attention to the winds of change. Call on the Owl’s wisdom when you have to assess a situation or are going through confusing times. The Owl, symbol of the Goddess, represents perfect wisdom. Since Owls can see in the dark and fly noiselessly through the skies, they can bring messages through dreams. The Owl is the bird of mystical wisdom and ancient knOwledge of the powers of the moon. With wide-open, all-seeing eyes, Owl looks upon reality without distortion.

The Owl was a sacred symbol of Athena, goddess of wisdom. Her Owl companion was said to tell her what happened during the night, contributing to her great wisdom.
The Celtic goddess Arianrhod shape shifts into a large Owl, and through the great Owl-eyes, sees even into the darkness of the human subconscious and soul. She is said to move with strength and purpose through the night, her wings of comfort and healing spread wide to give solace to those who need her.

Within the Cherokee nation, the Owl reached the ultimate level of sacredness and purity. The Owl, along with the cougar, were the only creatures that did not fall asleep during the seven days of Creation, and that is the reason why they are nocturnal. They are also sacred because of their human characteristics. The Owl has large round eyes situated at the front of its face, just like a human. She can also close each one individually.

The Mechanical

Why did we make a Giant Coo Coo Clock?

Well, it’s because they are the only bird that stays up all night to keep the time! And they fly silently, so they don’t wake us up. Although it is rare to see an Owl during the daytime, sometimes you are lucky enough to see one --Like TODAY at Sinterklaas!

Owl Saying:

A wise old Owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke. The less he spoke, the more he heard. Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?

Our Wise ones Say:

We have some wise ones in our community. They share their wisdom with you:

Care & help those different from yourself — -reach out to the “others” with a helping & loving hand to lift up everyone.
—Barbara Kraft

Volunteerism is the lifeblood of a community. I encourage young people to contribute to their communities. Their skills, talent and dedication to a cause will make a difference. They will be enriched with new friendships and new learning experiences and be rewarded with the gratification of serving their fellowman. There is no greater reward.
—Sally Mazzarella

Be kind to all.
—Louis Turpin

From her grandmother to her mother in her autograph book:
If the string is in a knot,
Patience will untie it.
Patience will do many things.
Did you ever try it?
—Nancy Kelly, Town Historian

And from the eldest, 95 years old!
Our purpose should be to enjoy life, to make it better, and to reward those who are helping to improve things. And that includes all of you.
— Robert J. Johnson, 
father of our own Owl Queen of the Night, Cait Johnson.