Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gift of the Mountain

Adirondack Barred Owl

We needed to get out of the house today. Desperately.

All day yesterday was spent processing meat. And I do mean all day.

Thus escape was the order of the day.

It was too gloomy to bother with Montezuma, although we did think about it for a bit. Alas, you can't identify birds well in bad light and the light was pretty awful.

Then we thought, why not the Dacks? A bad day touring the mountains beats many a good day elsewhere.

So off we went, intending to search for Helldiver Pond just in case there might be a moose. Or perhaps to case it for next spring when there probably will be a moose.

Along the way I pointed this guy out to Alan and we spun around to get these photos.

He asked me, "How on earth did you spot him?'

Alan took this one

I could have claimed eagle vision but he would have known that it was a lie. So I admitted that he had been flying in to land when I first saw him and had a pretty impressive wing span for such a small owl.

Helldiver Pond was a bust. Seasonal road closed and gated and another little road that didn't look like it would deal kindly with the Camaro. We didn't dare start a hike, even though it is said to be short and easy, as it was late in the day and it gets dark real early. Plus the weather was pretty iffy. At least we know where it is now.

Coming home past all the Christmas lights was a trip indeed. The tree in front of Richardson Foods in Canjo was outstanding, even in such an amazing field. We both oohed and ahhhed.

We also passed signs commemorating this in the Old Forge area. Being curious I looked it right up as soon as we got home. If you could see the place where it happened you would never imagine there even being train tracks there, let alone a massive two-train derailment that injured two-hundred people and killed three men, plus the animals from a traveling theatrical company. 

We had a good day. Nothing like magnificent mountains to lift you up in both elevation and atmosphere of heart. The Barred Owl was like a Christmas present under the tall dark trees. Alan spotted a second one just a few miles later, but it was gone before we could stop. 


ellie k said...

What a beautiful owl. Are those his wings hanging down beside him. That is quite a big wing Span. We have ground owls here, they are very small and build there nests in borrows in the ground.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Oh, I know how the Adirondacks can be so exhilarating! I can't explain it, since I didn't grow up around these mountains but rather in the rolling lake country of Michigan, but as soon as I enter the shadow of these mountains I feel at home. Sounds like a great trip, especially seeing the owl and wow! actually getting a photo of it! I've been to Helldiver Pond in summer, and the roads to get there were real axle-breakers. The resident moose might make it worth the risk, but there are lots of pretty ponds in the ADKs.

Terry and Linda said...

What beautiful birds you have in your world. You and Linda Pierson, both, have gorgeous owls on your posts today!


Linda said...

What a great find...I've yet to see one in these parts.

threecollie said...

Ellie, thanks, I don't think you can quite see his wings. He is sitting on a splintered, broken off tree. We were thrilled to be able to get pictures of him! I have never seen any of the burrowing owl, but I would really love to!

Jacqueline, they are! Even on such a gloomy day the High Peaks are magnificent! Thanks for the info on the pond. We want someday to see a moose..and the one does show up there pretty often. I don't think we would try to take the car much farther than we did the other day though. Have to find out how long the hike is.

Linda, we see owls so rarely! It is a huge treat when we do!

Linda, they seem quite common in the Adirondacks, although I have never seen one down here. They seem to hunt the roadsides in the day time up there.

Cathy said...

Lucky Ducky! It's been many, many years since I've seen a barred owl. You sure know how to have a good time :)

threecollie said...

Cathy, it was great! We have been seeing Barred Owls in the Dacks quite often in recent years, but never where we could get a photo. Now if only I could actually see the Great Horned Owls I KNOW are hunting the farm. I see feathers, but no birds.