All my life I’ve loved owls. My favorite book when I was litte was “The Owl and the Pussycat” went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat… (totally drifted back to my childhood). OK! I’m back.
Today I had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with my soul sistah doing what we love. Photographing wildlife. Remember this post a few months ago? Where we waited and waited and waited for ANYTHING to fly or run by us? Well today was a whole different story. Dianne Moller of Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center held a photography class with Allison Halkey as the instructor at the Raptor Rehabilitation Center. We were super stoked to FINALLY get to see some gorgeous creatures up close and personal. And boy did we EVER! Owls, falcons, EAGLES! OH MY!
This handsome creature is a Golden Eagle. He is one of Dianne’s educational birds. He is used to people and cameras and sat there silently (mostly) and regally during the entire event. Yes, we were in complete awe. I STILL am.
Here we go! THIS is what I’d been waiting for. An owl! OMG OMG OMG! Yes, I was like a child, I could barely contain myself! I don’t know why, but I just have this fascination with owls! I think its their big round eyes. I’m a sucker for gorgeous eyes.
Dianne handles these birds with the utmost care and respect. It was fascinating to listen to her tell us about their stories, and natural behaviors. I highly recommend taking this class if you have ANY interest in birds & photography. It was such an uplifting 3 hours that just flew by.
You can literally see the connection between these two. Look how this owl is looking at her! I wish I could remember all of the birds names I was in awe of these amazing creatures I couldn’t take my eyes off of them to take down any notes for this post.
Gently placed in her natural habitat, the owl got comfortable and eventually perched on this log and allowed us to ooooh and ahhhhh over her fabulousness and take some amazing images. I was done. I had gotten what I’d come for and was satisfied right there. Didn’t need anything else. Completely happy.
It was pretty windy out, but otherwise the weather cooperated VERY nicely thank you very much Mother Nature! I know these creatures can shred your face…but man I just want to kiss them right on the beak! Of course thats not allowed.
Moving on…more raptors for Margie & Tracy!
This falcon had his little hat on to keep him calm and comfortable until we got to our destination (the perfect spot for his photo op). Dianne shared so many interesting facts about falcons and their head pieces. They can get pretty ornate!
This was the most difficult shot for me to capture. We were all peeking into a doorway, trying not to upset the owls (there were 2 in here). It was very dark in their ‘room’ so I cranked my ISO way up and you can see this image is kind of noisy. Its still a money shot in my eyes. A dream come true.
Another dream of mine has always been to photograph a bald eagle. Well guess what?!?
I can’t thank Dianne, Allison & Travis enough for putting this class together. Its worth so much more than the $50 donation. If you are interested in future events & classes or just want to help our feathered friends out, be sure to get on Hoo’s Woods mailing list. Email Dianne, she’ll hook you up. Email to Dianne at Hoo’s Woods (In case that link doesn’t work, its firstname.lastname@example.org – yall know my html skills kinda suck.)
So…all in all, even tho the rest of the day I didn’t feel the best, my adventure at Hoo’s Woods was one of the best. days. ever. EVER. I’ll rest easy tonight knowing that one of my dreams really did come true. I’ll think of my favorite childhood story, and drift off to sleep…dreaming of owls & pussycats.