Backyard Barred Owl

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Backyard Barred Owl

Postby Rick Baetsen » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:41 pm

It has been some time since we have observed the local Barred Owls, though we hear them often at times during the year. This afternoon, Bonnie was letting our English Setter out in the back yard and I noted a flash of movement through the heavily snow covered trees. A closer look by both of us and we located a Barred Owl perched in a hardwood tree over the woodpile. The owls will perch near the woodpile and wait upon mice and voles that inhabit the stacks of firewood and brush pile we have for wildlife. When the dog came back into the house the owl flew into an Eastern Hemlock. It looked real nice framed in all the fresh snow on the conifer branches, so I got my camera and telephoto lens and tried for a photo. The owl flew further back into the forest and all I got was some cold feet as I had not bothered to put on my boots and the fresh snow is now about 8" deep.

The owl will be back as it and the first real snow to cover the ground here at Walloon Lake in Charlevoix County are the first real signs that winter has arrived.

Rick Baetsen
Rick Baetsen
USFS-USFWS Ret.
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
http://www.rickbaetsen.com
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Re: Backyard Barred Owl

Postby Rick Baetsen » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:25 pm

About an hour after our observation of the Barred Owl, Emmie our English Setter came up to me while I was working on the computer and nudged me on the leg with her nose and snout. It got my attention, which she does well at times and she wanted me to follow her or let her outside. I followed her to the back patio door and she went on point and locked up with her tail up. I looked out and there was the Barred Owl perched in the Red Oak right over the wood pile. Emmie and I do not hunt Partridge much anymore, but she knows we like Owls too. The Owl had snow on its head and back as we have been getting more snow now that they have lifted the weather warnings.
Rick Baetsen
Rick Baetsen
USFS-USFWS Ret.
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
http://www.rickbaetsen.com
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Re: Backyard Barred Owl

Postby Danaduck » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:04 pm

Your post reads like Hemmingway.
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Re: Backyard Barred Owl

Postby MikeW » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:55 pm

Should make for an interesting winter with the Owl hanging around Rick. This story lends new meaning to the term 'bird dog'... All I want to know is where I can get myself an 'Owl Pointer' ;)
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Re: Backyard Barred Owl

Postby Rick Baetsen » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:09 pm

Danaduck, I have enjoyed reading Hemingway's works since I first started reading them in high school back in the 1960's. I especially enjoyed Hemingway's short stories, like that of Indian Camp and The Big Two-Hearted River. It is interesting that life situations has us living near Walloon Lake and only a couple miles from Windermere, the Hemingway family summer home on Walloon Lake and that I spend a lot of time on the East Branch of the Fox River (Six Miles north of Seney in Schoolcraft County). The Fox River is where Hemingway traveled to by train after WWI to fish and had the inspiration for his story The Big Two-Hearted River. I know folks locally that met Hemingway on visits he made to the area. I was very lucky to have the chance to meet and visit with Hemingway's younger sister "Sunny" at a slide presentation I gave locally on native wildflowers.

MikeW, though our English Setter "Emmie" is more of a house dog now as we do very little hunting anymore, the line of breed of Setters we have had are very smart dogs and they pick up on our interests. Emmie and our past Setter Chloe know what we like and they go out of their way to bring it to our attention if we miss seeing it. And at this point they have better senses than I do, especially vision. When up north they will see Sharp-tailed Grouse out in open fields in winter when we are searching for owls. Emmie will come get me when there are big birds out back, whether is an owl perched in a tree or turkeys out under the feeders. Once when down in the Thumb area, I was looking at an Eagle nest to see if the chicks were showing yet and Emmie's tail kept slapping me in the face. I looked over to see her on point in the passenger seat of the van, so I looked and there was a Rooster Pheasant in the ditch on the other side of the road. I also have Emmie trained to come and get me when the phone rings and someone might have left a message should I be somewhere else in the house. Chloe even used to come and get me when the buzzer went off on the oven, should I not hear it. Chloe used to find Spruce Grouse perched up in trees, as the scent would probably hang below the tree. She would go up to the base of the tree that held a grouse and go on point at the tree. The English Setters are very intelligent dogs, so much so I am not sure if I have them trained or they have me trained. Reality though is that Emmie is Bonnie's dog, Emmie just lets me hang around with her if Bonnie is not at home, otherwise she is at Bonnie's feet or better yet sleeping on her lap.

Rick Baetsen
Rick Baetsen
USFS-USFWS Ret.
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
http://www.rickbaetsen.com
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Re: Backyard Barred Owl

Postby Danaduck » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:59 pm

Hemingway could sure write about the love of the outdoors. Same for Jim Harrison. So could Earnest Thompson Seton. What made Hemingway special was his insight on life and the morality play of life. Especially liked The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

A good dog for a companion is a treasure. My Australian Shepard is a gem. Now 11 he has slowed down and we both grow old enjoying a nap in the hammock as much as the stroll through the woods.
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Re: Backyard Barred Owl

Postby Rick Baetsen » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:00 am

Danaduck, I met Jim Harrison at Alverson's Bar or the Sportman's, in Grand Marais, Michigan, back some time ago when up there hunting and fishing one Autumn.

Emmie our English Setter is 11 years old as well, but she gets around yet like a pup. My "Dog Years" have caught up with me a lot more than they have with Emmie. She enjoys her naps with Bonnie and I on the couches, but I think I need them more.

Rick Baetsen
Rick Baetsen
USFS-USFWS Ret.
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
http://www.rickbaetsen.com
Rick Baetsen
 
Posts: 287
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:37 am


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