Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Who" Do You Love?

After our trade show escapades, it was time to enjoy the great company of Randy and Elaine, Rick's brother and sister-in-law. We did some fun things -- a great lunch and dinner out, a ride through the area and lots of talk-time. But perhaps the most amazing moments were spent watching their owl.

Well, I suppose it isn't "their" owl. But this one seems to rather enjoy the tree just off their back deck where he has a great view of the bird feeder and, down below, any poor critter happening to be moving from one spot to another without looking up.

What struck me most is that it was such a peaceable kingdom. Of course, the owl had survival on his mind, yet he seemed to not be interested in the birds that were plentiful at the feeder or the squirrels who danced around him -- and got right in his face!

This is the original photo of the owl and squirrel that I showed cropped at the top of this post. I was shooting from about 20 feet away through glass. I was most grateful that Randy and Elaine's glass is a lot cleaner than mine! (I also said "thank you" to my little Canon Powershot SX 170 with a great zoom!)

I can see why the birds cluster around the feeders. Randy and Elaine keep them well filled. Over the course of our time there, I saw about eight different types of birds -- not counting our owl friend. Lizzie would have been in heaven, chattering away at them!

But of course the majestic owl was the one to capture my imagination (and the better part of my memory card.) He is a Barred Owl.

Barred Owls are common in the northeastern United States but have been spreading westward. They are noted for their brown eyes, rather than the more common yellow or golden eyes (and that fact makes photographing their eyes pretty tough!) They tend to go for rodents -- mice, voles, and shrews -- but also will take on a squirrel, birds, and a variety of other critters. As I mentioned above, this owl has never been seen going after the birds that are just a few feet away, and as you can see, he didn't seem to have squirrel on the mind, either!

I'd lie in wait for a turn of the head, a shift to a new branch or different position much in the way he was waiting, staring at the ground, on the hunt.

Some of the photos were almost painterly.

Some adapted well to black and white or a tint.

But my favorites were clearly the originals. Handsome, strong, regal as he sat in his nook on the tree or on a nearby branch, the cold wind ruffling his feathers, the snow forming a cap on his head.

It is a sight I shall never forget.


Mae Travels said...


beth said...

aren't owls just amazing? such beautiful creatures and such a gift to nature. i wish we saw them more often!

i have been a bad blogger and commenter :(
maybe when spring is truly here and i'm out with my camera things will get better :)


Susie said...

Jeanie, These are awesome photos. Love them, Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Oh Jeanie!
What a magnificent Owl! I do believe that this squirrel may be his friend..
Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful story.

Joanne Huffman said...

Very good photos! I always have trouble with bird photos. Your patience certainly paid off.

Kitty said...

Beautiful, as usual!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

OH JEANIE! You know our sweet Penny White, correct? Have you been over to her latest post? She needle felted an owl named Méa, and she is JUST LIKE THIS OWL! The same coloring and feather patterns!

What a great collection of wildlife! That squirrel has no fear, does he! And the I love to see these animals scurry and perform for us. Thank you for this joy! Anita

Arti said...

These are amazing shots, Jeannie. I've never been so close to an owl, just 20 ft. away. We birders here have to search and wait in the woods to get a glimpse of 'our' elusive Barred Owl here, while your friend's come right to the house. I doubt he was eyeing for the birdhouse though, for they are carivorius. The squirrel there on the first pic was very brave indeed.

Jennifer Richardson said...

What a tremendous gift you were given! Such a grand beauty.
I wonder if it means something, the owl and you together for such a sweet stretch of time like that. I wonder what Love is speaking over you tenderly to lean close and whisper so vivid
like that.
Excited for you as your story unfolds:)
Glad and grateful that you shared.

Friko said...

Owls really are magnificent birds. This one is spectacular.
I thought they only hunt at night, or they do round here, anyway. If an owl is out in the daylight there’s always a special reason. Perhaps your friend’s owl helps himself at the bird table?

I love the owl and squirrel picture. That squirrel looks quite brazen sitting under the owl’s beak.

Victoria Zigler said...

Oh, I just love owls!

I got to pet one last year... I posted about it on my blog, but hadn't properly returned to the blogging scene at the time, so I think you missed it? Let me see... Ah, yes... Here's the post:

*Note: I'm not getting my e-mail replies to comments, despite everything being set up correctly, so please send any response to this comment to me at - thank you!

Marilyn said...

I would be beside myself with glee to see this beautiful owl. And all I saw were deer and ravens on my adventure. But an OWL, Oh my goodness - he is beautiful! Love your photos with your Canon Power Shot.

shoreacres said...

So many wonderful photos. I like the one of the squirrel and the owl the most, but I do have to ask -- do you have a picture of The Owl and the Pussycat? If you can't find them, look around for a pea-green boat!

shoreacres said...

So many wonderful photos. I like the one of the squirrel and the owl the most, but I do have to ask -- do you have a picture of The Owl and the Pussycat? If you can't find them, look around for a pea-green boat!

Mary Rose's said...

WOW! These are magnificent, Jeanie!
There are a pair of barred owls living behind me. Out walking early one morning, I heard the classic call, "Who-ooo-oooo cooks for yooooo," followed by the most delighted, demented cackling. And now I have your photos to remember that with. Thank you, dear friend.

Karen S. said...

Oh my I'd really like to know what was going on in the thoughts of that squirrel! What a lovely group of owl captures, lucky you!

Mary said...

He's just wonderful! And I love these photos! So fabulous. It sounds like all the birds and animals get along in this setting. Sometimes I think we humans could take a page or two from their book! :)

psychelyn said...

Oh these are awesome shots. I love the picture of the owl with the squirrel under :) They're so cute together on one tree. Owls are magnificent birds. They're fascinating enough not to get bored watching their keen "thinking"? :) He seem to be busy observing other birds and critters rather than humping on them. I hope spring comes your way soon too. :)

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Beautiful pictures. Amazing!!

angie said...

What a wonderful wildlife photos !!! I am very excited !!! all love and have a nice weekend wishes angie

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Oh Jeanie what a lucky girl you are!
I would count that as one of life's most precious moments.

You have captured him beautifully and I love how he ignored the little squirrel!
The photo of him sitting on the branch with the pink sky behind him is one out of the box - a National Geographic moment! Blow it up PLEASE!!!!

I've only seen owls in captivity. The NZ native owl lives in the forests where it hunts at night and sleeps during the day.
We heard one in France once too, on dark stormy night as we drove up the driveway of a medieval manor house B & B - it was like something out of a scarey movie!!!

I'm glad Lizzie wasn't there - the owl might have thought she was easy prey as she is so friendly.....
Amazing photography - I hope you're inspired to get your paint and brushes out now!

Tammie Lee said...

oh my! how lovely to get to watch this owl and take so many photos. So interesting that the squirrel would get so close. I would not have guessed that. thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos!

Tamara said...

Beautiful and elegant. Tahk you for sharing that amazing moment with us. The snow, the squirrel, the other birds - all beautiful. We have owls here, some sit on a fence on our bike track and when we ride past they just stay there and swivel their heads. I think they're waiting to see if we run over anything to eat.

Esme said...


Wow, this is right out of the owl and the pussy cat. Some of these truly look like paintings. Your patience paid off for you, although I can see why. I would have been mesmerized by him.

Tracy said...

Oh the owls... the sweet feathered friends! And it's great to catch up with you here, friend! :o) VERY fun to see about your trip recently--that book place... *SWOON*!! Do they have a room for rent there? ;o) LOL... I've been offline some days... life, you know... Wishing you a HAPPY EASTER weekend ahead ((HUGS))

Janet said...

Wow! You got some truly amazing shots of the owl. It's beautiful.

Vivian Swift said...

I can only repeat what everyone else has written: Your owl photos are amazing! Delicious! Awe-full! I would plotz if ever I had the good fortune to be in sight-line with an owl. Once, here on Long Island, I thought I saw an owl in a tree, but it turned out to just be a very fat seagull.
Thank you also for the lovely book store visit. Ahhhhhh, I can smell the sweet scent of bibliophilia. But…but…no book store cat?

Relyn Lawson said...

My word, these photos are amazing!

~*~Patty S said...

OH MY GOODNESS your owl photos are absolutely wonderful and so precious. It is a wish of mine to see an owl in real life out in nature some day.
The squirrel and the owl together are quite something too...splendid photos!
Thank you for sharing these with us!

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