Yesterday I told G I needed to get out of the house, away from my little home office and studio where I spend most of my time. Day in and day out. If I don't make a conscious effort to get out, most often I don't. It's just that simple.
So it was time for a Sunday drive. Gar had a spot in mind, but wasn't telling me (though I suspected what he had up his sleeve). We headed east 10 minutes to my hometown of Hampton. Driving past the marsh I couldn't get over how high the tide was. Must have been the super moon. I'm sure some of the streets at the beach were completely flooded. The neighborhoods that jut out onto the marsh were encircled by water and ice. Once we hit the beach we headed south, just over the Massachusetts border to Salisbury to the State Park. When we got there, it was obvious that what G was bringing me to see, already had the attention of many others. There were tons of people, lined up up with cameras and binoculars of all shapes and sizes. I hopped out of the truck as soon as we spotted the first one.
A beautiful snowy owl, perched and posing not bothered at all by all the hoopla and shutters clicking.
We've had an influx this year in our area with many sightings along the coast.
Oh, I just wish I could have gotten closer, but as I said, the tide was so high the marshes were completely flooded with water and ice flows.
The owl finally bored of all us and took off and made a u-turn and flew further into the park and perched atop a tree. Turned and looked right at me. I think G and I were the first ones to get to the owl at this spot.
Oh how I wish this one clearer,because it turned and looked right at me. But the bird wasn't long for this spot. He headed back to entrance of the park pronto while G and I headed further in.
After all, the seagulls were starting to get an inferiority complex with all the attention being given to the owls.
We headed back to the owls, and there was at least two if not three. People kept hopping in their cars and following them from spot to spot.
Why? Because they are so damn cool looking and as I said, they are a rare occurrence. They usually make themselves at home in the arctic, but the last few years has seen increasing numbers and this year the northeast is one of the jackpot areas. This bird's wingspan was amazing when it took off.
In case you couldn't tell, it was raining, hence the water drops on my lens.
I had to include this one so you could see its head turned all the way around.
You couldn't believe the size of some of the camera lenses people had. I was coveting them in a big way. Of course, I'd probably have to remortgage the house to be able to afford some that I saw, but I am now really wanting a greater zoom. A girl's got to dream, right?
We headed back towards my hometown to stop into my parents for a visit, but before we got there I asked G to stop by another one of our favorite spots along the marsh. As soon as we got there, G said 'what's that in the tree?'. I said, "I don't know but it looks big enough to be an eagle." I took a shot and zoomed in and sure enough.........Bald Eagle. And there was nobody else there to see it, but us.
Again, a bigger zoom lens would have been a wonderful thing in this instance since the eagle was even further the snowy owl had been.
The eagle just sat there the entire time we were there.
You get an idea of how big a bird the Bald Eagle is when you look at that picture, because you can still see it on the branch. As I was downloading and editing my photos this morning, I thought I saw something in one of the trees to the left of the Eagle.
Sure enough, a second Eagle. This is when I really started saying, "I am so getting a bigger zoom lens!"
Yeah, I know. It's hard to see, but trust me......it is another Bald Eagle.
The Bald Eagle, though seen here more often than the Snowy Owl, is still a pretty rare sighting. They've been making a comeback over the last few years and that is a wonderful thing to see. I'd love it if they were a more common sight. If you've never seen one, truly an impressive bird. One flew over our campsite once, and I knew immediately, simply by the shadow it cast, that it was a Bald Eagle. Huge birds.
Now, the snowy owl was big enough at about 2 feet high with a 4.7 foot wingspan. The Bald Eagle, however, grows to about 3.5 feet high and has a wingspan that can reach up to 6.5 - 8 feet across!
Their resurgence is not only exciting because it is a magnificent bird and our national bird, but because it was on the verge of extinction in the 1970s. What an absolute tragedy that would have been.
So, once again, after standing take more photos in the rain for a quite awhile, my hands were frozen and I got back in the truck. As Garrett turned around, I spotted this drifting down from the sky.
An early Valentine's Day wish from me to you.
How was your weekend? Ours was great. Low key. Enjoyed watching the Super Bowl at the neighbors last night. Wow. Did Denver miss their wake up call or what? That's not to dismiss Seattle, because they played a fantastic game.
That's it from this end. Have a great day!
Ciao for now,