I had sent this as an email to my high school classmates in 2014. The fact that we have been seeing an extraordinary number of owls this year has inspired me to post it to my blog.
It has warmed up to temperatures around freezing in our part of the world this weekend. I had just gotten back to Edwards Ferry on the towpath during my run and was considering whether to ditch the camera in the car before continuing on. I was thinking that the cloudy weather would limit the chances of getting good pictures. I happened upon another photographer hidden in a photographer’s blind trying to take a picture of a yellow bellied sapsucker. (He was actually trying to attract the bird by using a device sitting on the branch of a tree. The device was playing out the sound that the bird makes.) This inspired me to continue to carry the camera onward. Further along on the trail, in the distance, I noticed that a hawk had settled on a branch over the trail. I pulled my camera with its long lens out of the backpack and started walking towards the bird. The bird took off as I approached. The sun broke out from behind the clouds while this was happening, and as I turned my head to the left, in the direction that the hawk had flown off in, the barred owl popped its head out of a hole in the branch of a tree next to the trail and stared at me in an inquiring manner. The lighting and the distance was perfect. Since the camera was already in my hand, I managed to pop off a few shots before the bird flew off.
And this is how I got my cheap thrill this morning. I could not help marveling at the fact that things came together this perfectly for me to have this moment, and it was such a coincidence that this happened not much after I mentioned owls in a previous posting to the group.