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!

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