Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Barbara and Barry: A Love Story

Since I moved to Baton Rouge two years ago and discovered Bluebonnet Swamp, I have been introduced to some wonderful birders and photographers, learning much along the way. This past Saturday we crossed paths and they were eager to lead me to a big surprise. You see, every year around Valentine's Day, the resident barred owls, Barbara and Barry, set up house in the swampy part of the preserve. Usually, they find a tree several hundred yards away, so high in the treetops that our camera equipment is pushed to its limits.

The past few days our little lovebirds have found a new tree for their family. And it's RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOARDWALK; mere feet from us! This was the scenario: Barry began calling from the other end of the preserve. Barbara's muffled response from inside the tree cavity let us know she was there. After several minutes hooting back and forth, Barbara emerged from the nest. She then flew to a nearby tree, hugging close to the trunk. More minutes ticked by and here came Barry, flying past us towards the east. Barbara flew to him and they had what I call a "quickie", and believe you me, it was quick! Barbara flew back to the cavity of the tree to lay an egg (we hope).

And that was one of my big adventures for the weekend. Being trapped for weeks inside my house, on a heating pad, I can't tell you how elated and exhilarated I felt after watching nature in action. Whew doggies, I was one happy camper.
Emerging from the tree cavity

Getting ready to meet Barry

Barbara graciously posing for two slap-happy photographers

Feathers ruffling during her "conversation" with Barry

Barbara off to join her mate
Linking with Anni at I'd Rather B Birdin' and Stewart at Wild Bird Wednesday. Thanks so much link hosts!

Collect moments, not things.
Author unknown

50 comments:

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Oh....I'm breathless Gail!! What 'gorgeousness'. {is there such a word?}

Buttons said...

Oh Gail Barbara is truly beautiful and I can see why Barry would be smitten. Your captures are perfect and love the love story. Glad you are feeling better. Hug bBarry

Anvilcloud said...

What a treat for you! You captured some fine pics, and I have a feeling that there will be many more.

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

i was hoping you were going to sing for me ... calling Baton Rouge ... you know the Garth Brooks song? i love it. i am always a fan of owls. gorgeous birdie. ( :

David Oliver said...

Really terrific pictures and the story told with a bit of whimsy. Just terrific! I came by to visit after seeing your comment on Denise's blog. I haven't heard anyone say "cool beans" in a long time and it made me smile.

cobie en bas van Es said...

Oh wat geweldig mooi,ik hoop ooit ook nog eens zulke mooie momenten te hebben.

R. Mac Wheeler said...

My favorite love story today.

Barbara is soooo cute.

great shots

Nancy said...

Spectacular captures of these two Gail. Wow!

Shug said...

I'm thrilled to see this love story unfolding! What a wonderful blessing to be in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time. Great photos Gail..
Sure hope you are feeling better!! Keeping you in my prayers!
hugs,
shug

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

What a wonderful love story! You have captured Barbara beautifully.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Oh my goodness, Gail. You've outdone yourself with this set of images. That first shot is awesome! I'm so looking forward to seeing more of Barry and Barbara and, hopefully, the little family they will raise this summer. Let's see...what can we call this ongoing series...B.O.?

TexWisGirl said...

awesome shots! love these owls! ours have been having some spirited conversations lately, although i've not seen them. :)

Melissa said...

Oh aren't they handsome! Hope there will be some owlets there soon.

Charlotte Wilson said...

As you may remember, I LOVE owls! And Gail, these are breath taking! So tack sharp! Some of your best work to date! When are you going to publish a book of your photos!!

Karen said...

Fabulous captures of beautiful Barbara!

hootnonny said...

Barbara is a beauty; hope she and Barry are in a committed relationship.

Breathtaking said...

Oh, these are fabulous shots, and what a delightful love story too!

Mitzi said...

Oh my goodness...I know you were ecstatic! Such gorgeous images and beautiful story.

Gordon said...

What fantastic shots, and I wouldn't want to come into contact with tha t beak.
All the best Gordon.

Anni said...

It's me again...this time from the linking on I'd Rather B Birdin'....

THIS IS TRULY a Love Story - love of the photos [and the owls]

Chris Rohrer said...

WOW!!!! Your images are stunning. I am not worthy! LOVE OWLS!

bailey-road.com said...

What a wonderful pair! These shots are awesome.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Wow Gail!!
What a find!I'm surprised that the park doesn't rope off the area so the two love birds can continue their romance.
Such beautiful close ups!!
~~~~~~
Totally agree with your quote of the day!!
to Collect moments, not things!!
Sure wish I believed that some 30 years ago!!

Ela said...

What a beautiful story and fantastic relationship and love of birds :)
Greetings

Evelyn S. said...

Truly amazing photos, Gail! Amazing! What a story, too.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Amazing story and photos to go with it equally amazing. I love this post.

Thank you for the correction on my (not) tri-colored heron...I changed it to the correct ID: Green Heron. Does it still count as a first=time sighting if I misidentified it when I saw it ? Really appreciate the help.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Surely a moment to remember and you have lovely pictures to keep that memory alive.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Fabulous! I love these guys!

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

My GRACIOUS, goodness that was a fab story of nature in the making. I loved the 'quickie' as actually being a quickie!!

Oh sweet Gail, don't we love it when another and more wise person validates a good decision. I am so GRATEFUL for your prayers!!!!!! ♥

eileeninmd said...

Cute post and awesome photos of the Barred Owls!

DeniseinVA said...

I am absolutely thrilled for you, what a fantastic experience. Your photos are incredible, beautiful!

Brian King said...

How cool! These are gorgeous! I've never photographed an owl. I would have loved this!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Wow wow wow. These pictures are just amazing!

Jeanne said...

OMG! Amazing shots of one of my favorite amazing creatures!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Excellent photos, and a delightful narrative!

bettyl-NZ said...

I'd be excited, too, if I could get such wonderful shots! Go Barbie and Barry!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos!! I love that last photo of the owl in flight :)

LC said...

What wonderful moments to collect, and you captured the essence so beautifully.

Indrani said...

Oh! What a gaze!
Superb shots!

Stewart M said...

Wonderful pictures! When you need a wide angle lens you know you are close!!!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Carletta said...

Excellent series! Those close ups are awesome!!!

Carole M. said...

wow, what a fantastic opportunity and fantastic photos!!

Starla said...

Absolutely INCREDIBLE shots!!

maryaustria said...

A wonderful story and your photos are so amazing! Absolutely gorgeous!!!

Jen said...

Love the story and the pictures! I've added Bluebonnet Swamp to my list of places in LA to bird when I'm passing through. Thanks for posting.

Barbara said...

What? No pics of the 'quickie'? :) These are glorious, Gail. I love Barbara's regal glance at the camera. And I love that they moved closer! Thank you for sharing!

Wally Jones said...

What a great opportunity and what superb photographs you have created!

Owls are really special and your quality images highlight why.

Nice job, Gail!

Autumn said...

Such majestic creatures! I LOVE owls of all kinds. These are awesome shots!

Linda R said...

Oh my goodness. How exciting to get to see these two IRL.. I would be one happy camper as well. Your photos are awesome my friend.

Hugs~

Rosemary Aubut said...

Great captures Gail!!! What a awesome creature!