Unlike Sunday, Monday’s weather was gorgeous, but I had to work.  I got off work as soon as possible.  Anne and Dan were already home, when I arrived.  They were watching the TV show, The Big Bang Theory.  I went for a bike ride instead.  The Park was crowded, as expected. Everyone else in Saint Louis wanted to get out too.

Before work on Monday, I had checked out Mark the Owl Guy’s website.  He has recently posted a couple of videos of this forays into Great Horned Owl watching.  While there were no distinguishing landmarks in any of his videos, there was some good footage of the Great Horned Owl’s, Charles and Sarah, new nest.  It is in a rather distinctive looking tree.  Since last year, I had lost track of Charles and Sarah and Mark for that matter too.  The tree that their old nest was in had suffered a mishap last summer and did not appear as though it would be suitable for nesting any longer.

So I’m biking around looking for a tree in a forest or a park or whatever.  But I knew where they use to live, so I start near there.  After a couple of false starts, including asking a couple of guys who were playing drums in the woods, if they had seen any owls, I found the tree.  I knew it was the right tree, because there was an owlet sitting in it.  I had only brought the old Canon and not the big gun, but took what pictures that I could. I got pretty close to the owlet, but decided not to circle the tree, but backed away instead.  Maybe because of my sixth sense? I cut my ride short, only getting ten miles and boogied for home.

I rousted Anne and Dan with stories of owlets and promises of diner and this time we drove to the Park.  I saw Mark the owl guy there as we drove up to the site.  Unfortunately, for the second time in as many hours, I set off my car’s panic alarm.  Well I’ve heard plenty of car alarms go off in the Park, and I guess so have the owls.  The owlet was still sitting where it had been before.

Under Mark’s advice, I didn’t approach the owlet as closely as I had previously.  His description of a raptor mom knocking you down with its dive and then sinking in its talons, was ample persuasion for me.  I did get the picture for this post.  We also got a great impromptu speaking tour from Mark.

Mark said the owlet we saw was the second of three.  The first one had already fledged, this one has obviously branched and there is another owlet yet in the nest.  Mark explained that Great Horned owls stagger their eggs, so just like us, you can have older and/or younger siblings, “Mom, he pecked me!”  Mark also spotted and then pointed out both parents, Charles and Sarah.  Did I mention that Mark named them too?

Mark and Edward Crim, of Forest Park 365 fame, are slated to be featured in an up coming issue of Saint Louis Magazine.  I look forward to seeing it.  As I first rode and then drove through the Park, it amazed me that so many wild things could coexists with us.

Oh yeah diner.  After the park we went to Katie’s Pizzeria Cafe, in Clayton, on Clayton, across from Richmond Center’s Schnucks.  The food was good, but they do put more vegetables on a pizza than most Americans are used to seeing.

Today’s header is my Photoshop attempt to capture this year’s Passover moon. There was a thin layer of illuminated clouds that I wanted to capture.  I also wanted to capture the relief of the moon.  Even the big gun’s dynamic range can’t do that.  Hence today’s header.

4 thoughts on “Owlet

  1. I really enjoy looking for the raptors (and whatever wildlife is around) as I drive along I-69 between GB & EL! I’m usually rewarded with the occasional red-tailed hawk…. and the inevitable carrion-birds (crows, ravens, vultures) feasting on the many deer carcasses scattered along the route.

    Heading northward to Da Soo / The Cabin / XC Ski HQ we get to see a rare owl perched in a tree; and a couple of times have even seen Bald Eagles! (And yes, have seen Baldies on The River Road – along, you guessed it, the Saginaw River – in Bay City, too!).

    Have to agree, this morning’s moon was spectacular! Large, full, and golden-colored! Too bad I was driving, therefore couldn’t get any photos (well, didn’t have camera with me, either – boo, hiss!)

  2. The Airport Authority has seemingly declared war on the Red-Tailed Hawks in and around the airport. There was a bird foding incident involving a Red-Tail last year. They’ve chopped down all the trees that the hawks use to perch in before. Not to worry, they perch on the landing light’s pylons now. 😉

  3. Full moon? I couldn’t figure out how I missed out. Then I realized that we have had several days of rain and clouds.

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