Now that is One Fresh Owl

It has been a few days since I’ve been able to post on the wild side of Intrigued.  Before I get accused of slacking since retirement, I have been busy on the post front.  The Halloween Haunted Trail posts are finally getting the spotlight and those are a lot of work – one more part to go on that and that will finally be checked off my to-do list.  As you can tell from the image below, I decided that I needed a break from the haunting.

Barred Owl found at Jubilee College State Park in December 2020

Hit the jump to learn something interesting about our feathered friend – hint, these images might still be wet.

If you happen to know your Owls, then you probably already identified this large specimen as a Barred Owl.  One of the few in the Owl family that we have easy access to in my neck of the woods.  From time to time we will get a Great Horned Owl (link here) on the prowl checking out what our woods has to offer in the form of large rodents and stray Poodles – usually heard more than seen.  We are supposed to have the Barn Owl – never seen one around here.  Then there are the sightings of the Eastern Screech Owl and frankly, those are too well camouflaged to quickly pick them out of the trees, not to mention both the Eastern and the Barn prefer to roam the night so if you do find one, have fun getting it into the tin.

Barred Owl found at Jubilee College State Park in December 2020

Now the Barred Owl is a bit more active during the day – if nothing else, they tend to roost in more visible locations – edge of the forest or alongside the road on the tree line or telephone poles.   These birds are big and strong and beyond the Great Horned Owl, these birds fear nothing that flies.  They will keep their distance from the Great Horned as those are badasses and known for taking out Eagles that don’t respect their authority.  Their size works against the Barred when they launch off their perch.  Getting air under those 40+ inch wings takes times so they will often drop significantly before getting enough lift power.   It’s when they are near the road that gets me a bit anxious as I’ve had the misfortune of ending the life of one as I didn’t see it trying to take off (link here).  Every time I see one of these beautiful creatures I think of that tragedy.

Barred Owl found at Jubilee College State Park in December 2020

However, let’s not dwell on the past and instead focus on the recent – as in the really recent, as in the really really recent, as in the really.. you get the point.  Take a guess on how long ago these images were taken?  If you said over three years ago, then you are already familiar with my ridiculous backlog.  Even if you gave me the benefit of the doubt, guessing you are still way off.  The answer is a mere 2 hours ago.  Shocking isn’t it!!   I promised I would try to get fresher snaps – things just kind of fell in place today.  Had just finished up my cold 8 mile run in Jubilee College State Park and was driving out of the park looking forward to a warm shower.  As I drove by, a large object caught my eye on the side of the road.  By the time my brain figured out what it was I was well past it.

Then it occurred to me I really do not have anything to rush home for and I’m already dressed for the cold.  Found a pull off, grabbed the camera I keep in the car and turned back.  Stopped halfway back, checked the lighting and  got the camera’s setting where I guessed they needed to be – that is when I noticed the battery was nearly dead – was only going to get one or two chances at it.   Slowly returned to the spot and sure enough, there it was sitting on a dead limb on the side of the road.  Slowly brought the camera up to keep from spooking it and started snapping away.  It slowly turned and took notice of me – probably recognized my truck as “The Owl Killer”.  After that quick burst, the camera went dead -ugh.  No big loss as it soon took flight and landed about 50 feet in denser trees.  Continued to keep an eye on me, but remained there clearly feeling out of danger – mental note, get that damn batter charged.

Then I came home.

Then I decided to download the images to the computer.

Then decided to go ahead and bring them up in Lightroom.

Then decided what the hell, might as well process them while looking at them.

Then decided I was at the computer, why not just finish the process in Photoshop.

Then decided to upload them to our gallery.

Then realized I was all sweaty and smelly so quickly went and took a shower hehehe.

Came back to see the upload was finished so decided to go ahead and pop them into a shell of a post.

By that point decided I might as well add some words.

Then decided might as well shock everyone and just publish it – and there you have it, the freshest post in the history of any of the Intrigued blogs.

Now I need to get back to the last Halloween post – hope you enjoyed our little Owl diversion.

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