Sunday, May 4, 2014

Just Perfect!

 "Great Horned Owl Nest"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

Its been a real struggle getting to spring; we're hoping maybe it'll get serious one of these days and it will stay till summer!  But we love it around here...the past couple weeks have really livened the valley up with the Meadow Larks singing and the frogs serenading...even had a good night of Coyote music a week back!

I've been working on too many things to recount just now, but jury duty was one of them.  If I can just get through June without being picked again, maybe I'll actually be ready for this summer's exhibit at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in July.

I had a chance yesterday morning to break away briefly and walk the creek across the road from us.  There has been a family of Great Horned Owls nesting there and I wanted to try and get some photos of them before they fledged.  We've watched the nest from the road for the past few weeks but to get a decent image of the nest I needed to walk around to the other side of the valley and see if there was a clear view of it from there.

There was enough to see the nest and to find there were two occupants!  However the nest is fairly small for two birds of that size and I wasn't able to get very decent shots of both birds at the same time.  If you look at the photo above, you'll see the ear tuft of the other sibling just over the left shoulder of the bird in the foreground.

It was really fun to watch them for a while and took some video footage of them as well.  But the wind was beginning to pick up and I headed down to the creek below to cross back over.
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
Just as I made it across, a large bird move nearly above me and was holding its position with wings flapping hard into the wind.  I immediately recognized it as an Osprey and struggled to set the tripod and get the camera swung around.  The Osprey kept moving north along the creek stopping momentarily while looking for a fish breakfast.  I managed to finally get a couple shots as it moved further up stream...nothing spectacular but at least you can identify the bird...maybe I'll use the pose in a future painting or drawing someday?
What a great ending to my first spring morning jaunt in the valley...this is a great place to be and we don't take it for granted for a moment.  It may not seem that way to most people, but its just perfect...for us anyway!

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