It was a once-in-a-lifetime sighting (maybe): a Snowy Owl sitting atop a ballfield in the middle of hope-starved, pandemic Manhattan.

What was it doing there, since the last recording sighting of a snowy owl in Central Park was back in mid-December 1890? David Barrett, who runs the Manhattan Bird Alert account, suggested the bird likely mistook the field's sand for a beach. I, however, believe that owls are a little bit smarter than that. So once again, this ghost owl was likely an omen. Not an ominous one, though.

Snowy owls represent endurance, according to the first thing that came up when I googled. "It leads to big dreams... it speaks of prophecy and fulfillment. It tells that willpower anytime helps in achieving all dreams." This owl is New York Tough, and Strong, and I don't know, sounds a little naive.

But maybe it was a signal to be hopeful, and while it's gone now, this owl — which may or may not have just blessed the city — lives on in these photos.