December 2017 Photo of the Month

2017 is drawing to a close and soon a new year will be upon us. I’m looking forward to 2018 and what opportunities wait around the corner. During the month of December I braved the elements and got out a few times with the camera. One of those times I went out searching for something I typically don’t photograph. What would that be? Wildlife! Yes I went out in search of animals. Well one animal in particular. This winter the Snowy White Owl has been spotted in Iowa in far greater numbers than normal as they migrate south from the Arctic. One of the spots that’s seeing owl activity is to my north along  Highway 30 between Boone and Ames. So one afternoon I headed out in that general direction to see if I could find this beautiful bird. 

I kept my expectations in check giving myself a 20 to 30% chance of finding this owl. Driving around in the general area of previous sightings and I came up empty handed. So I then headed north of Highway 30 checking out the gravel roads in the area. Not long after turning on to my 3rd gravel road I spotted something sitting on top of a power pole. I was looking west into the sun and could not make out what it could be, other than some kind of big bird. I proceeded slowly down the road and as I got closer and the sun was not in my eyes as much I quickly figured out it was the snowy white owl I was looking for! I slowly and carefully moved to the west of the bird so the sun would be behind me when I took my photograph. I got far enough away from the owl so I would not scare him or make him nervous. At that point I was able to get some nice photos of the owl. 

So for my December 2017 photo of the month I give you my snowy white owl pic. 

Snowy White Owl

He sat on top of this power pole for quite some time before flying off to the southeast. It looked like he recently had a meal as the mark under his eye appears to be blood. 

I was very lucky to find this rare owl. Some of my photography friends have spent hours on the back roads looking for this owl with no luck. It took me about 20 minutes to find this guy. Its a great way for me to wrap up 2017. 

I hope that you have a very happy new year. Be sure to keep an eye on this web site as I’ll be unveiling new things for 2018 including the long awatied workshop schedule! Until then get out and keep shooting photos!

© Willard Sharp

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