A Few Trips To See Ruby

Being Patient With An Owl

This year I have made a few visits to the Celery Bog when the light was right to see the Eastern Screech Owl that the locals have taken to calling Ruby. I have had more days when I didn’t see the owl than when I did. It is always a fun trip no matter what the outcome. The photo above was made during some beautiful light back in January.

A Quick Video

I have been making some videos of the owl over the last couple of trips. The video above shows a few different behaviors of the owl during my viewing. I thought that I was lucky when the owl turned to look my way when a couple of dogs were walked by me. The final part of the video with the owls eyes open was captured when a Carolina Wren was hopping on the sticks near my feet. For a moment I thought that the owl was going to jump down and grab dinner.

The Trips Don’t Always End Well

As I said above not every trip ends with a great owl photo. Most end with no owl photos in fact. I made this photo on a snowy day when I was hoping to see the owl in the snow. Of course that didn’t happen. If every trip ended with an amazing owl photo it wouldn’t be nearly as fun trying to make them.

Getting A Look

It is always cool to get a look from the owl when you are there. It is mainly resting and you never want to startle the owl just for a photo. The owl did pick a roost near a walking trail and a parking lot though so sometimes you can get a photo with it looking at you. This is one such photo from January.

More Patience

Have I talked about patience with the owl yet? I saw someone quote Woody Allen the other day with him saying “80% of success is just showing up.” I don’t often quote Woody Allen, but that quote immediately made me think of wildlife photography. You need to be there as often as you can for the luck to find you.

A Carolina Wren With The Assist

Last night when I was with this owl a Carolina Wren started moving around at my feet. I can never seem to get too close to these birds let alone have them come right up to me. It was well within the eight foot minimum distance of my lens so I decided to just watch it kick around for some food. When I looked back up at the owl I realized that it was watching very intently too. I have seen it get spooked and go back in the hole from a chickadee, but here it looked like it was thinking about dinner. One of these days I will get this kind of a look from the owl when the light is amazing and right on it. The fun of photography is waiting for that perfect moment. There are a couple of times a day when the light and shadows are perfect on this tree. The hope is always that I will get a moment like the one above when that light is good.

One Reply to “A Few Trips To See Ruby”

  1. Those owl photos and the video are awesome, Dave. I have to agree with the “just showing up” thought. And sometimes it’s just being in the right place, which isn’t always where conventional wisdom would say you should be.


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