My husband and I love to explore Lake Martin at Cypress Island, Louisiana, in St. Martin Parish. On this particular autumn day, we came upon quite an unusual sight, a barred owl sitting serenely in the grass, taking a nap, and opening his eyes ever so slightly to peek at us as we clicked the cameras. He showed no signs of alarm or distress! I came within touching distance but the little beauty never flinched. At first, I thought he might have been sick but there were no signs of injury or disease. Later, I talked to a seasoned wildlife photographer who told me he has encountered this very thing several times. Almost always, he said, it occurred in the fall and the owl in question was usually a yearling. I was amazed the way this owl accommodated us, changed his pose from time to time, and seemed to be rather enjoying the experience. After we loaded up our camera gear, I went back to the spot to tell the owl good bye but found he had moved from his little mud heap in the grass. He had repositioned himself in a thick stand of irises as though to say, “Photo shoot over; now let me get some sleep!” What a fun time we had with the owl that day!
Nikon D300; Nikkor 300mm lens; 1/160 @ f 7.1; ISO 400; Aperture Priority