At long last, I finally spotted my first Snowy Owl of the season today. I’ve been looking every time I drive around the OMP and just haven’t seen any.
Help Support Old Mission Gazette - Click Here
And let’s throw in February while we’re at it. I was able to write up his obituary, but other than that, only recently has my grief-stricken brain been able to piece together stories for the Gazette.
I’m still mired in grief inertia and end-of-life stuff, but feel like I’m slowly getting back into some sort of work groove.
Still, even with all that, I’m genetically wired to look for Snowy Owls all winter, checking rooftops and electric poles for the familiar snow-white birds. Especially in all their usual haunts – Blue Water Road, Winery Hill, and Center Road down by the Old Mission Tavern.
Today, I lucked out. On my way back from snowshoeing on the Ridgewood Trail, I spotted one on the peak of Bret and Sonja Richards’ barn on Center Road, north of the Tavern. They own Harbor View Nursery and Lavender Farm.
I almost missed it, but then backed up and sure enough, there sat my Snowy Owl. Bret and Sonja were at the little red house they’re restoring, so I chatted with them for a minute and asked if I could drive back to get a closer view (of course, I didn’t have my long lens with me!).
Here’s the shot I got from a distance on Center Road. See him on the peak of the barn?
They said they, too, hadn’t seen one this winter – actually for the last couple of winters. It makes me wonder if the birds kind of go in cycles, where you’ll see a lot of them and then not so much for a year or two. Or maybe it has to do with weather patterns. Maybe it hasn’t been cold enough. I’m just spit-balling here – I really don’t know.
Anyway, here’s some not-great photos of today’s Snowy Owl. I’m definitely going to be carrying my long lens with me from now on! Maybe I’ll drive back over there tomorrow and see if I see him again.