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I See You, Owl!

"Come here, and get the camera!" Lou called to me the other day.

I hurried into the kitchen to see what was happening. Lou pointed out the window, toward a tree down by the lady garden.

"If you go out the front door and sneak around the corner of the house, I think you can get a picture," Lou said.

I have a new camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40. It's sort of a hybrid, with a built in 24x optical zoom and all sorts of settings I'm just beginning to learn about. I wasn't sure I could get a decent photo. It was late afternoon, the lighting was dim, and my subject was relatively far away, nearly obscured by tree branches. With my old camera it would have been impossible.

I snuck around the house, then held my breath while I pointed the camera and tried to focus.

I was delighted to see a beautiful barred owl staring back at me through the viewfinder.

"I see you, Owl!"

A couple of barred owls have been living near the lady garden for several years. They have distinctive calls and sometimes give out unworldly screeches that can curdle one's blood. They mate for life, and we have enjoyed watching this pair nesting and raising their young. They watch us, too. One of them followed Lou around last summer, flying from tree to tree as Lou walked about the garden. No doubt, baby was near and Papa was keeping a protective eye.

But I've never seen them up close, through the view of a telephoto lens. The owl sat for at least thirty minutes, rotating his head around to make sure I got shots of his good side.

Thank you, Owl, and I'm loving my new camera!


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Reader Comments (19)

Great shots Deb! I love reading the story too of how you ended up taking these fabulous photos! What a generous Owl to model for you so. Beautiful creature! It looks like your new camera is a keeper!

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

Lucky lucky you! Having a super zoom camera and what a great capture (and all thanks to Lou) My favourite bird.

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura @ PatioPatch

You've captured some wonderful shots with that new camera. That's quite a zoom! I still need to get out and do some bird photography with my new camera. I have two "OWL" posts in a row on my blogroll today, so I'm thinkin' it's a sign.

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFloridagirl

Hi Deb,

Lovely Owl and amazing photos. Must have been so exciting to get to watch it seemingly relaxed and at home in your garden :)

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Great shots! He is a beauty. We have Barred Owls here too and they can make the most blood-curdling screams. lol We don't see them close up all that often though.

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSweetbay

Wonderful shots!!! And such a cooperative owl for rotating its head. :) I thought they only appear at night but your shots are very clear and bright! Perhaps it's because the owl is at home. Thanks for sharing these shots. I doubt I would ever be able to see them that close.

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOne

Thank you Owl, for sitting so patiently for these photos, they're great! Those eyes!

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Absolutely lovely shots - thanks so much for sharing them with us!
Best Wishes

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Webber

OH LUCKY YOU!!! Great shots!!!! I got to see one on the road last year but haven't seen or heard one lately! You really did great and keep us posted on any young! WOO HOO....or is that WHO COOKS FOR YOU!!!!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Oh, what an amazing creature! I love your new camera, too - especially the views!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthevioletfern

Oh Deb, how fun, and what fantastic shots! I hear owls here all the time, mostly Great Horned and Western Screech, but we have so many trees I almost never see them (and never have my camera when I do!). Nicely spotted Lou!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

Wow, I'd be doing backflips if I could get a picture of an owl like that! Just beautiful!!!! Yea for your new camera!!!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterToni -Signature Gardens

Yes!! What a capture! If you're anything like me, you camped there for the entire 30 minutes too not willing to leave until he did! Lucky girl ;)

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCat

What a gorgeous creature!! I've heard owls near my house but have never seen them in daylight. How lucky for you!!

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

What a lucky day. He is absolutely beautiful and they are great photos. I am so glad you were able to "sneak" a picture.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa

What an awesome capture! I had no idea owls mated for life. Very interesting...

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Looks like you've figured out your new camera pretty well. Great shots! It must have been nice to have enough time to takes the pics AND enjoy the view for a few moments. Congrats..

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave@gardeningonadime

That is simply the coolest thing I've ever seen!

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShyrlene

Fabulous photos! I have a FZ30, not quite such a good lens, but still a great camera. Enjoy getting to know your new friend ! (The camera, not the owl, who I imagine will be a little on the bashful side...)

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPlantaliscious

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