Spring Debutante

This year, there’s only one owlet at the Great Horned Owl household. Since the coming-out party, the family’s debutante is poised to become the star of the woods. Birding paparazzi converge and they’re not disappointed.

But first, a Where’s Waldo quiz for you. Can you spot mama and owlet on this tree:

Ok, blame it on my blurry pic. Mama’s on the top of the picture, baby at the bottom. Can’t see clearly? Here are some close-ups:

Mama is always nearby… the lower right of the photo gallery.

And this little one is a natural talent for the movie screen. Here are some photos for the audition portfolio:

Thank you… yes, this fluffy coat is very comfy… I like it too.


Spring Baby

They’ve come back, the Great Horned Owl couple.  Their perennial arrival to nest is as predictable as the grass turning green and the leaves bursting out from the bare branches. They even check into the same abode.

After a long wait since April, I finally got to see the new addition last week. This time, an only child.

Here’s baby peeking out to feast on the sights and sounds of spring:

Baby in nest

A close-up of this spring baby:

Baby close-up.jpg

Mom or Dad is always watching close by, here basking in the evening sun:

At dusk

Yesterday, it’s baby’s day out. Where’s Waldo?

Where's Waldo?.jpg

Look up, there he is, at the top of the tree trunk:


Trying out wings:


and showing off a downy coat:


As always, Mom is nearby, ever watchful:

Keeping watch.jpg

Posing for all the nature paparazzi below, here it is, the feat of turning your head 180º:

head turned.jpg

Enjoy while you can, soon you’ll be an empty nester, too soon.



Owl Babies’ Day Out

It has been three weeks since I last posted about a first sign of spring: Grizzly bear coming out of hibernation. Now, spring is in full force. Another sure sign in my neck of the woods is Great Horned Owlets out to enjoy the sunshine.

First, let me play a little ‘Where’s Waldo’ with you. Can you find the owls in this photo? How many do you see?


The obvious ones are on the top branch, mom on the right with her baby, and in the lower, closer to the trunk, another owlet.

Some are just born to be more independent. Take a closer look at this cool, furry owl baby perching on her own branch. Seeing me eagerly snapping her photo, she sits still for me, giving me a big smile even:



She reminds me of those Ukrainian dolls.


But don’t think she’s all innocent and vulnerable, look at her claws:


And to the mother and the other baby in the upper branch, again, they know how to please us nature paparazzi, just by being themselves:


Babe & Mom.jpg

And here, a little action for us, Mom preening her baby. The term of endearment is instinct:

Mom preening baby

Preening babe.jpg

I can hear the baby say: “Thanks Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!”



Saturday Snapshot May 28: New Kids on the Block

A month ago I saw two newborns in the Owlington abode. Here’s one of them out and about; the other must be still sleeping:

Owlington baby

A curious fella:

Owlington 1

Scratching and preening:

Owlington baby scratching

Mrs. Owlington is always close by watching:

Mrs. Owlington

I’ve always thought the Owlington is the only owl family by the pond until I came across these new kids in another part of the hood. Three of them snuggled up against one another on that windy afternoon:

New Kid 3.jpg

No mama or papa around. Wait, not just three, there’s one more on another branch. This bro is all cool and aloof:

New Kid 4

The next day I went back there and saw li’l bro again. This time his style really shown through. Why wait for papa to bring back dinner? Fast food right here:

Can't wait

These are some of the pictures I’d taken in the past weeks. As spring slowly arrives and is here to stay, so are myriads of new lives, bursting out in the hood, some are new encounters for me. Stay tuned for more Nature Photography here on Ripple Effects.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.








Saturday Snapshot May 9: Spring’s New Babies

Spring ushers in buds and blooms, and in my neck of the woods, Spring brings new babies. For the past few years, Mama and Papa welcome two new owlets into their Great Horned Owl family every Spring.

The next time you wander into the woods, if you see two furry balls high on a tree, don’t pass them by.

two furry balls

Those furry balls could turn into two pairs of big eyes, inviting you to stay awhile. Fine, take some pictures. We love to pose.

2 Paris of Big Eyes

They look cuddly as a teddy bear.

Fluffy down

I can only imagine how those fluffy down feel to the touch. They’re nature’s babies; I can only admire from afar.

Cuddly as a teddy bear

And what are they thinking, looking at us humans gathering under the tree?

Oh, humans? That’s what they are? Strange, with such huge and long noses. No? Telephoto lenses? They sure are curious and interesting creatures. Alright, let me give them a high five. That’ll make their day.

Hi Five

Ok… let me show off a little: here’s a wing:


and two:

2 Wings

Don’t think I’m just a cute li’l baby. I’m learning to be formidable:


Mama knows. She’s always watching nearby. She may have her eyes closed, but she’s alert and watching alright:


Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.




Saturday Snapshot May 10: The Owl Family… Moonrise Haven

Here they are, all come out to enjoy the evening sun. In just a few weeks, the Owlets have grown so much they are about the size of their parents. How I tell them apart is by their still fluffy down. Here’s Owlie 1:


Owlet 1


He likes to try out his new wings:

Trying out new wings


Oops, caught in the branches. Flapping and struggling to get untangled:

Caught in the branches


And Mama’s reaction to all the fluttering? Totally unruffled. She’s too busy posing for me:

Mom stays put


Here’s the more quiet Owlie 2:

Owlet 2


And where’s Papa? As always, watching from a distance on another tree, calm and cool. Here he is, hooting away. That’s the first time I actually hear an Owl hoot, rhythmic calls, music for Mama and kids, and me:



Papa Hooting

Who teaches their young to fly and land safely? Don’t look at Mama or Papa, they don’t lift a finger:

Learning to fly and land


Who teaches them to play nice, and hug each other? That too, is instinct.

Who taught them to hug and play nice


Ok, for Mothers Day, let’s have a photo. I’ll entitle this one “Moonrise Haven”, with thanks to Wes Anderson:

Moonrise Haven

Ah… Natural parenting, so simple, almost effortless.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.




Previous Posts on the Owl Family (In Chronological Order):

The Great Horned Owl (March 2013)

Sign of Spring: Nesting (April 2013)

Spring Babies and Parenting Styles (May 2013)

The Hustle and Bustle of Spring (April 2014)

Within the Budding Grove (April 2014)


When Easter is the Spring


Dead trees draw life
when the days expand and the sun
fulfills its promise, oft delayed
by the clutch of ice.

Clotted, gnarled, knotted twigs
on the trees sense sap and the death
of death. They stretch, begin
to puff green on the end.

We sing new songs
of a Life laid down for rebirth
when Easter is the Spring
and the branch is Christ.

— Mark A. Noll


Every new birth is a miracle. I saw two yesterday:

2 Owlets


And To All, A Happy Easter!


Saturday Snapshot March 9: Great Horned Owl

Since I started birding last September, yesterday was the first time I saw an owl. Thanks to two ladies walking in the area pointing me to this Great Horned Owl.

Look how well he camouflaged himself on the tree. I wouldn’t have sighted him by myself. Can you see an owl on the tree?

See an owl

I must have walked 180° around him to shoot from all sides just to get a clear view. Here’s the back, see how well he blended with the tree?


A closer front view, eyes wide shut in the late afternoon. Of course, it was sleeping time for him:

Eyes Wide Shut

Half an hour later I went back there, hoping to catch him open his eyes for me. But no, he teased me with just a slit:

Eyes half-openedNo matter. It was a great sighting for me. And I know where to find them now. Apparently, this is father owl and his family is famous in the birding community. They even have their own WEBPAGE.


See Mama Owl nesting in this post.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books. Do click on the link to see what others have posted.