Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mysterious, Elusive and Silent on Wing

Finally, after two winters of searching we hit the jackpot. We have been going out for winter picnic drives every couple of weeks with high hopes of getting a clear shot of a snowy owl. 

 I had taken a few shots in auto focus and was just about to switch to manual and attempt to get closer when a farmer astride his big ole tractor drove up behind us to see what we were doing. Well of course with all that commotion going on below this beauty took to the air. I started shooting continuously but, true to the name "silent ghost of the north" this lady glided swooping to the snow laden earth and vanished instantly like a stealth bomber. So amazing to observe. There was no way the camera could distinguish between owl and overcast gray sky reflecting to the snow, in fact there was no way my eyes could either. Earlier in the day I had one other opportunity to capture the owl in flight and was then using manual focus. I could not keep her in my sights as she would glide so low she melded with the barren fields.

Snowy Owl, female. (males are almost all white)
The image is greatly cropped to give you a better viewing.

Here she lifted just enough to make out her shape against the trees as she flew away.

She perched way off across the fields. 

Raven shadow jumping. Ravens are so much fun to watch as they jump about in the snow. This one kept lifting and dropping every few feet. There were two out in the fields acting like Heckle and Jeckle.


Lynda Schumacher said...

Wow, she is beautiful. You are so fortunate to have seen her.

neva gagliano said...

jackpot indeed!!

and that RAVEN HOPPING dance that they do...great shot.

layers said...

thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment-- what beautiful photos of the snow owl and birds-- your drawings and paintings of birds are also beautiful.