Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Hoot Owl

I have a recurring dream/nightmare.  It is that I finally come face to face with a real live owl, either A) I don't have my camera, or B) I have it and am trying to snap up close pictures as fast as I can, but can't get zoomed in enough.  I think ONCE I had this dream and I took great up close shots, and then I woke up disappointed....because it was just a dream. 
The Ammo of Camo!

Here's looking at you kid!

Well today my dream/nightmare came true!!!  I was taking a walk in the local suburban park, which was filled with tons of people.  Boardman Park has several nature trails in the woods and I thought it would be nice just to stretch my legs...I took the camera because I felt like it had been a while since I posted on the blog, and thought maybe I would see a good tree or flower...something...anything...for a post.

After taking a few forks in the main trail, I ended up back on the paved path, and a HUGE bird of prey flew across the path just in front of me!!!  All I could do is gasp as my mind to tried to process what I just saw....A MASSIVE OWL!!!!   He (or she) landed a couple dozen yards inside the woods, still visible from the trail.  I quietly and slowly walked down the path to try and get a good view.....trouble was I could see the owl with my naked eye but as soon as I looked into the camera viewfinder I could not find it!!  For five minutes I struggled to see it in the camera, every second terrorized it would fly away and I would lose my chance!  I shifted down the trail a few more steps and finally found some success....and for about another minute the Barred Owl stayed perched, swiveling it's head, looking around....and looking at me.  Finally the inevitable happened and this glorious bird of prey took flight into the woods.  Not awarding winning and up close as can be....but still not too bad for a complete unexpected encounter of the owl kind!!!

Apparently from what I read about Barred Owls, seeing one active in the daytime is pretty rare....however if I had been better informed about Barred Owl habitat I would have known this section of the park was just what this type of owl likes!  Wet woodlands, with some swamp, with undisturbed old growth trees that have hollowed out.....and this is EXACTLY what I saw on all the trails before seeing the owl.
Bye bye birdie :-(

What a great day behind the lens!!  Filing this one under "fantasy photo"!!! Thanking the Lord today for a great personal encounter with one of His most incredible creatures!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What Are the Clouds?

I took the hound trio out for a walk this nice summer evening since the thick rain clouds that lingered most of the day were finally breaking up.  I had been watching a show on TV about America's national parks and was in awe of the grandeur of the mighty works God has blessed us with in our country.  During my walk I was sort of struck by how mountain-like those clouds could while I was bumming I didn't live out west with the grand mountains and canyons....I did  get to see some grand clouds!

What are the Clouds?
By C.H. Spurgeon, August 19, 1856

"…the clouds are the dust of his feet." Nahum 1:3

But if there be one book I love to read above all others, next to the book of God, it is the volume of NATURE. I care not what letters they are that I read—whether they are the golden spellings of the name of God up yonder in the stars, or whether I read, in rougher lines, his name printed on the rolling floods, or see it hieroglyphed in the huge mountain, the dashing cataract, or the waving forest. Wherever I look abroad in nature I love to discern my Father’s name spelled out in living characters. I would do as Isaac did, go into the fields at eventide and muse and meditate upon the God of nature.
I thought in the cool of last evening—I would muse with my God, by his Holy Spirit, and see what message he would give me. There I sat and watched the clouds, and learned a lesson in the great hall of Nature’s college. The first thought that struck me was this—as I saw the white clouds rolling in the sky—soon shall I see my Savior mounted on a great white throne, riding on the clouds of heaven, to call men to judgment!

What great things clouds are to us! There we see them sweeping along the skies! Then they rapidly increase until the whole sky gathers blackness and a dark shadow is cast upon the world; we foresee the coming storm, and we tremble at the mountains of cloud, for they are great. Great things are they? No! they are only the dust of God’s feet! The greatest cloud that ever swept the face of the sky, was but one single particle of dust, stirred up by the feet of the Almighty Jehovah. When clouds roll over clouds and the storm is very dreadful—it is but the chariot of God, as it speeds along the heavens, raising a little dust around him! "The clouds are the dust of his feet." Oh! could you grasp this idea my friends, or had I words in which to put it into your souls, I am sure you would sit down in solemn awe of that great God who is our Father, or who will be our Judge!

The sun finally down made the previously golden pink clouds go stark white!