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Mothering Moments...Great Horned Owls

Spring, early morning.  The sun is shinning so bright.  My lids lift and I know it's going to be a good day. Spring means something different to all of us. Some love the budding of trees, I like those also, some love to play in the dirt, I do not. Some like spring cleaning and purging of all that has nested in their houses over the winter...yes, I even do that.  The smell of lilacs lifts me up and reminds me of my Mom...I feel her presence.  I remember her spring Mothering moments..and then I remember what I love best about spring.

I love nature.  I love getting out in the woods. Loading up my car with camera and a few of my special spring lenses.  For me, the first one on my Canon 7D MK11 is the 150-500.  Spring is critter watching time.  This year has been especially good for me. I love all the birds and raptors that I can find.  Not an easy task but if you stay vigilant and keep your eyes open, and get a very early morning phone call, you might get the shot. Of all the nature shots I get though, my very favorite shots are those Mothering Moments.  This day I was very fortunate.  The call was me to come and play with the Great Horned Mom and Baby.. I was out of bed in a flash, teeth brushed, dressed, grabbed a cup of tea and flew out the door...leaving a trail of spring dust behind me.  

It was a delightful two hours with this Mom and baby.  Like all babies, the little one did not want to leave his Mom's side...stuck like glue they were for the most part.  The Mom kept a good eye out on me...looking right at me and staring me down a few times.  For the most part though, they were content on their tree limb and I was content just being there.  The photo above shows the two of them on that limb and to the right of the Mom is their big, beautiful nest.  As the weeks go by I'll share more of them with you. For now, let's just enjoy the beginning of this one spring morning..

I love how the baby just stays so close to the Mom...This was taken a bit later in the morning...early morning left a shadow right across their sweet little faces...If you look under the branch you can see how long the Mom's tail is.


Just the Mom.  Lovely, large yellow eyes.  We connect and learn to put up with each other.  She is beautiful and even the streak of light does not diminish her charm.  She built such a nice home for her baby.  Don't we all strive to do that for our own children.  A home that is safe and strong.  Mothering Moments are the same in nature as in life.  I have been fortunate to view and photograph so many Mothering moments in nature, and each time I walk away, I feel the same hope, love and caring that all Mothers carry with them as they teach their little ones how to fly.

The baby was just the cutest..A little fuzzy, fur ball.  His ears are just starting to develop and grow to someday be just as cute as him Mom's ears are...and his fur is curly.

Mom was frequently checking out the area.  While she was doing that, baby owl kept his eye on me...

The baby had his own language.  I didn't understand it but I loved listening and watching him...He would open his mouth, and the feathers underneath would start dancing and he would look up at Mom and make these crazy little sounds.  In owl talk, I think he was telling her that he was hungry.  Perhaps last night had not been a successful dinner night.  He's so cute with his little beak open.

Just like any other baby, the little owl only had so much energy and he needed his mid morning nap.  He leaned into his Mom and she welcomed him.  His soft little head fell gently upon her feathers and he promptly closed his eyes, knowing that he was safely in his Mother's care.  She knew he needed the rest and so gave me one last stare as I to, rested.  It is not easy to hand hold a 500 mm lens...but the ache in my arm the next day, was worth a spring morning to remember.

Nature is my spring.  The re-newal, rebirth and awakening that spring brings.  In happens in the dirt, in houses with windows open to the breeze and it even happens in big tall pine trees if you look up.  Whatever the meaning of spring is for you...enjoy it. Let it seeps into your weary bones and soul, let it lift you up to the little things that mean so much and hopefully let Mother Nature be your spring tour guide.

“The owl,” he was saying, “is one of the most curious creatures. A bird that stays awake when the rest of the world sleeps. They can see in the dark. I find that so interesting, to be mired in reality when the rest of the world is dreaming. What does he see and what does he know that the rest of the world is missing?” 
― M.J Rose...Suduction.



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Reader Comments (9)

Oh Cheryl, you know I am so envious of you and your beautiful owls! I think they are the most fascinating birds and how sweet are this mom and baby. Forget about meeting somewhere off rt. 128...I want to come see your owl friends!

April 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Come anytime Susan...I went back this morning but they weren't there. It was a cloudy start to the day here. Perhaps they enjoy the sunny mornings...just like we do. Nature is always hit or miss but that's where the challenge comes in, right. Thanks so much for your visit.

April 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Dearest Cheryl:
I'm totally mesmerized by this post.
How did you know where to find this precious pair?
I'm overwhelmed by the photos and your documentary.
First I was so excited that you were able to just go and not mention your painful leg.
But by the end, I was wondering why you didn't mention a tripod?
My wrists are so vulnerable to tendonitis I must have a tripod.
I'm rambling and must get to bed, so am going to sign off with these precious moments and thanks, again, for sharing.
You're one phenomenal lady, photographer, mother, grandmother, wife and friend.
Oodles of love and hoots to you, girlfriend!
Luv, A xox

April 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

Cheryl, These shots are so fantastic. How fortunate you are to be able to take them.

We have an owl In the trees right behind our house but you only see his silhouette at night. And I hear his hooting very late at night and early in the morning. He looks enormous but I have never seen him in the daylight to know
what kind of owl he is and I have no idea where his nest is. You are so lucky!

April 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Thomas

This is so interesting to get to see, from a friend's camera! We have owls in our neighborhood and hearing them hooting a lot, but we never get to see them. We think they sit in full cover of pine trees and can tell when they move from one tree to another. Seeing the mom and baby is just adorable. You took their portrait! I too would need a tripod for these kinds of shoots, especially a 500 mm zoom. Thank you for getting up early to go chasing after the "great horned owl"!!

April 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

Wonderful, Cheryl! What a joy, sharing this experience with you! Thanks!

April 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Your owls are just precious together!!! What a lucky girl you are!

Thank you all for your lovely visit and comments. The owls were a treat for me this year...I still have more to post but I'll let them rest for awhile...

April 28, 2016 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

Oh my - how wonderful to see and photograph. Just adore this set.

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKarin

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