Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer







Saturday, May 10, 2014

Owl Surprises and I Was Ready~


 
With the amazing sunrise over horse country in Prospect, KY, I just knew it had to be a great day and the whole week turned out to be just as great.
Let me begin with...no I do not live in those houses, aren't they something...
Prospect is one of the wealthiest zip codes in the USA, but no, I live near, but not in...
Huge difference...just had to make that point ;)
It was Easter Sunday weekend when I had gone to the Anchorage Park where the Barred Owl that I have posted before lives. 
There are many songbirds, water birds, and raptors, as well as other wildlife that call this park their home. 
We had gotten a message  from BirdKY alert, that the Great Horned Owl pair was moving their owlets from their nest site and so I had gone to see what I could find. 
First go...nothing.
Second stop same place, and there they were. 
I found the beautiful female and 2 owlets in a large tree right above that water shown in the top mosaic. 
The Barred Owl selections were taken then last Monday, and they uploaded for some reason before my Great Horned Owl images.
Can you see the Raccoon tail hanging out of the tree...I found 2 in the park on my visits.
The meadow just below is prime target area to view this beauty. 
In arriving at the park to mainly exercise my bad knees a bit, I always have camera on hand, but had not planned for anything special on this day.
As I walked the path and had just begun to cross a bridge, I noticed 2 men with binoculars and cameras...must be something good. 
Oh yes it was...the Barred Owl was hunting and right at that moment, my big ideas to walk 3 miles, turned into 147 photos being taken and then, a shorter walk~



Remember to double click on the image, to view a larger slide show of the images shared
   
 I will also be linking up with Mary at:
 
Mosaic Monday
 
at: 
 
As well as I am linking up with Stewart at:
 
   Wild Bird Wednesday
 



 
The Barred Owl was feasting on one Crawdad after the other, as well as at least one Salamander, and could have cared less, that we were watching it from so near...
It was truly a momentous occasion to observe it and photograph this amazing creature~



Oops, it dropped the Salamander and so it had to go down and retrieve it...too wonderful~


 
It would fly down every few minutes and snag yet another morsel to feast on. 
The 2 gentlemen had seen it about an hour earlier, taken their walk and come back...
The Owl had been eating the whole time ;)


 
Yet another Crawdad~




 
Well, if it could not get much better, the Owl even brought up a casting/pellet...can you see it falling in the bottom right hand image of the mosaic below...
 
"These are the pellets (or castings) of an Owl. They consist of undigested fur, feathers, bills, claws, teeth, skulls and bones of the prey animals. In owls, the pellet forms from 6 to 10 hours after the meal is eaten, and is regurgitated from 10 to 16 hours after the meal."



 
Philadelphia Fleabane wildflowers~


Below, are some of my most prized wildlife images ever taken...I was absolutely thrilled~










The view beneath is both near where the Barred Owl stays after the nesting season is completed and for the nesting season the Great Horned Owls reside. 
They do not cross each others territory much during this season, for the GHO is the master of this land and would take the Barred Owl~


 
Below is one of the 2 Great Horned Owlets~



The adult female Great Horned Owl was watching me and I was staying very calm and very careful...if you have never seen their talons, you do not want them applied to oneself for sure...they are very powerful~
 
NOTE!
"References to a Great Horned Owl’s grip strength states such things as equal to a Golden Eagle’s, equal to the bite of an adult German shepherd, five times stronger than the grip of a man, or up to 500 pounds per square inch."
OUCH!





To the left is the second Owlet perched up near the adult female. 
 I knew very well that the adult male was also perched very near...I was very cautious, to say the least, never making eye contact, but using my camera as my eyes~




 
Near the GHO, I found this Raccoon asleep in a hole upside down, just chilling ;) ~



This was the path that I took to get to the Owls, it is so green these days and one must check themselves after such a walk, for the Ticks are already out and biting bad!




Have a wonderful week, keep your eyes open and your camera ready, there are always surprises awaiting you, if you just look up and out, and not always down~


31 comments:

  1. nice to see it so rich and green there, again! barred owls are just the cutest owls,ever. :)

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  2. Fantastic owl shots! Very majestic birds!

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  3. Oh my GOODNESS! These photos/collages today are fabulous! I have never seen a Barred Owl. We do have the Great Horned, Short-eared, Long-eared and Burrowing owls here however. LOVED this post!!

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  4. these images are incredible... i love that you were able to take so many of the owls in nature. walks that end with photos like these are worth losing the exercise over... hope all is well. have a great day~

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  5. I always enjoy seeing images of nature. Beautiful photos. You did a lovely job of capturing the owls in flight!

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  6. Fantastic photos of the owls. They're gorgeous birds.

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  7. What an amazing series of owl shots. How fortunate to be in an area which is so rich in magnificent wildlife.

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  8. One of some many Owls, I can say it, the Barred Owl is my favourite. I don't get one over here, except in capture. You have got one in photos, splendid Mary.

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  9. these forests walks look so lovely Mary despite the ticks! I would love to be walking along those paths. I am enjoying seeing your country turn green after the winter snows and storms. Always lovely to visit - thank you for visiting me too this week! Have a lovely week.

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  10. I especially liked the Barred Owl series. It was great that you had such a long and intimate photographic session. Having lived in Now Orleans, I can't blame it for developing such a liking for "mud bugs."

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  11. You lucky lucky lady! What a gorgeous area full of wonderful owls. Glad you were able to observe them as you did. Your pics are wonderful!

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  12. What a feast of wonderful Owl shots. Brilliant

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  13. Absolutely magnificent! Your posts are always amazing, but this one even more than usual! Thank you for taking us along on your journey!

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  14. Great photos! I love owls! I never see them around here. Either because they only come out at night here, or I never go to an area where they are during the day. (I missed the Snowy Owls when they came here in the Winter due to an irruption, despite making several trips to the beach where they were seen.)

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  15. Mary, awesome shots of the Barred Owl and the Great Horned Owls. I would be tickled to see both of these. Great post and photos.

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  16. wow, Mary, I had no idea that the Barred Owls would take crayfish. And the pellet shot is priceless.

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  17. Wow Mary, this is quite an impressive post.

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  18. Wonderful captures Mary, congratulations.

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  19. Wonderful captures Mary, congratulations.

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  20. As always, breathtaking. Love the owls...but I think that one of the raccoon tail captured my heart today.

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  21. Gripping and gorgeous photos of the barred owl, your enchanting forest and the beautiful flowering trees that inhabit it! I did not know those amazing facts about these most intriguing creatures, wow! Thanks so much for sharing the beauty of the wilderness that surrounds you!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday, Mary!

    Poppy

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  22. Beautiful owl shots, and thanks for checking on us. Boom & Gary.

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  23. Fantastic photos! What an incredible place to go see birds and wildlife. I so seldom get shots of anything, I would have taken this treasure trove and turned it into four posts! :-) This is amazing. I learned a lot about owls and that raccoon is a hoot! Thoroughly made my morning! Great photos!

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  24. Great pictures - I love the owls, but the racoon nose coming out of the tree is really wonderful!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  25. Mary, your posts are always so full of so many wonderful things and it seems you outdo yourself every time. I am just in total awe here. The owls are the cutest things ever and you got such wonderful action shots. And the raccoon poking out of the tree is adorable .... everything is so green and beautiful. What joy!

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  26. Did I miss this post in my haste to contnue my holiday in the sun? If so it was very remiss of me to do so and I apologise.yes, 127 shots are quickly rattled off when such opportunities arise and you wasted few if any shots of the Barred Owl and its hunt for food. Great action shots Mary.

    Yes, the Barred Owl is living dangerously so close to the Great Horned parents eager to feed growing chicks and i wonder how two nocturnal creatures' paths do not cross more often.

    Thank you for visiting the blog in Menorca. We are home now and miss our island paradise but have arranged for 2015 already.

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  27. First of all, I caught myself actually holding my breath through a good bit of this! The scenery photos alone are just breathtaking and then while OWL ALWAYS love all of your bird and nature photos, this is just phenomenal ...what a wonderful, amazing day you had. The entire post was pure magic :)

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  28. I am pleased for you that you were able to get these wonderful shots of the owls, and a silly raccoon having a nap! The strangest thing happened a few days ago. I came face to face with a crawdad crawling along the sidewalk towards me and the lake is a good 10 minutes or so walk away. Now I'm wondering if a bird had it (like an owl) and dropped it? There's always lots of seagulls flying around the subdivision.

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  29. What an amazing collection of shots! No wonder you were thrilled. I'm glad you were able to snap and escape with not encounter with talons!

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  30. Wow...what a beautiful encounter and a lots of superb shots !!!

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