|beautiful white male swoops down. Perhaps the best shot of the bunch|
Boy did I ever luck out. Chitaroni lent me his Canon - L series 100-400 lens and I went out to find my snowy owl friend nearby. I armed myself with jeans and a half full battery for the camera. No big deal, was only -15 out and the wind was howling like it usually is the neck of the woods (I actually mean flat fields). I couldn't find my friend nearby. So I took a drive down the 417 as I can usually find a spotted one down there. I had to go back and forth before spotting the…well, spotted one below in the tree. I am always excited to see these owls and this time was no different. With the L series lens I was able to shoot from further away, while maintaining great quality photos. After getting what I wanted and having walked through waist deep snow, I decided to move on in my frozen jeans. I decided to go a bit further and take a longer route home down a road perfectly suited for an owl to perch. To my luck I stumbled upon another photographer also snapping away at a snowy owl on that exact road. He was very knowledgable and friendly. Friendly enough to let me "poach" his session by allowing me to join in. I contemplated not using the photo of the mouse as it was live baited. With some research on the topic I found it the be very negatively looked down upon by people choosing to post their opinions on the subject. While I can see both sides of the debate clearly, I am also not overly opposed to it. Out of respect, the photographer will not be named to save him internet hate that really isn't backed by anything more than simple opinions. I have seen his work and it is outrageously good photography and he clearly knows what he is doing, where to go, how to find his work, and how to preserve it in a manner that keeps the animal alive and safe. Again, I see both sides. I just happen to not necessarily see it as a negative. I can understand why it is done. And my photos are a clear example. I (the hobbyist) got to enjoy something spectacular at hopefully little to no expense of the bird. The mouse you ask? Yeah, I could care less about mice. They come into my home and make a mess. And I get to take photos of this, instead of photos of a dead mouse that has defecated itself in a trap? I can't say I would do it myself, but I am not opposed to this specific method in this specific circumstance. I hope you can see past the debate and just enjoy my photos here. You will notice a second spotted owl towards the bottom. I found her (female I believe) while on my way home. 3 different owls in one afternoon! And that one big white male… nature can be so awesome. I am really thankful for these rare winter photo opportunities. And Chitaroni for lending me such a nice lens. Enjoy.