Hey hey! Family Day long weekend is finally here in Ontario. A nice 3 day break in February and the weather is looking amazing with near double digit temps and more sun than cloud. Is anyone partaking in the GBBC?
Some of you may recall Moonie and I pushing it a couple years ago. Thanks to Facebook "on this day" app, I got the reminder from when we appeared in the Toronto Star. What a time that was!
Angie and I plan on a couple outings, even if just locally.
Last weekend we endured quite the snowfall for Toronto, nothing compared to other parts of Ontario, but it was a decent snowfall for us over the last few winters. It snowed most of Sunday, big fluffy flakes, then small flakes, then back to big flakes, and it went like that throughout the day. We decided to take Merry and Molly outside to experience it for the first time in their 22 months of existence. It went pretty good. Their curiosity got the best of them and they ignored the chill to explore a bit. Merry is more used to the leash/harness thing while Molly does prefer the kittywalk but she did pretty good this day. I figure the excitement of being outside again after months of not, the snowfall, it preoccupied her.
We all look forward to warm sunny days in a few months when we can stay out for hours.
With the snow, I took advantage of some local Cardinals for photos.
Then the big bird find this week was chancing upon a Barred Owl. I hadn't been out since Saturday, so Wednesday I finally made the trek to a new area for some exploring. New area to me, more or less, a vast area I've been a few times over the years but there's so much to explore. I'm so glad I made the choice to go, and stick it out with a lengthy walk despite seeing only 1 Red-tailed Hawk and hearing a male Northern Cardinal belting out his song. I was not in search of anything particular. It's not very often I, or Angie and I, go out with target birds in mind. Just taking things in as they come along is the best way to go about things, you may be pleasantly surprised with some finds, but you won't be disappointed since you have no expectation.
There was nothing to tell me that there was an Owl about. Usually I tune into birds screaming at one roosting. But that wasn't happening. Sometimes I find Owl pellets under a tree, or lots of spray (poop). Nope. I was just walking (lots) and suddenly passed one sitting in a tree not more than 10 ft off the ground. We were maybe 20 ft from each other. I saw him. He saw me. In my head I was like "holy shit!" I quickly backed up as I did not want to spook him and have him fly off.
I spent about 10 minutes watching the bird. It looked at me a couple times but for the most part focused on the ground. The sun was shining bright, the ice was cracking, and I think he was thinking there was prey moving about beneath him somewhere. At one point he left the tree and flew to a nearby conifer, a tree so close he probably could have just jumped to it. It started to cloud over and the snow began to fall. Huh! Smart Owl or what?
I snapped a few photos, took a short video and then walked away. A silent thank you to the moment. A grin on my face the rest of the day.
It's hard to describe the feeling of finding any species of Owl on your own. One that has not been reported. It's just you and the Owl, or maybe having a few friends with you for the moment. What I mean by this, no people, no bullshit. A zen moment.
Here are a few photos of the moment.
Camouflage masters at times! I wonder how many Barreds I may have passed by over the years?
Well, time to get at it, run a few errands and get that thing called "work" over and done with.
I'm looking forward to the Family Day weekend with my family.
I hope you all have a great one with yours, no matter how you spend it.