I found one!

With headlines like “Rare Sightings!” and “Snowy Owls Seen As Far South As Oklahoma,” I decided I wanted to find one. Popularized by Hedwig in the Harry Potter movies, snowy owls aren’t complete strangers to my region, but this year’s migration has been highly publicized. Taking a tip from a friend, I loaded my camera into my jeep and headed out. Only 15 minutes from my farm …

… there he was, sitting on a telephone pole. (Or she. Heavily “barred” and not entirely white, I had found either an immature male or female.)

She took one look at me and with a wing span of about five feet, off she went.

My good friend, Brad Halter, an atmospheric scientist, who just returned home from Greenland and has volunteered here at the farm for the past 10+ years (when he isn’t in the Arctic studying the Ozone layer), told me (as he was fussing in our winter greenhouse) that a bumper crop of arctic lemmings is the reason for the prodigious number of snowy owls in our region this winter. With an overabundance of food, the number of hatches that survived were substantial. Hence, their mass migration south to find food.

 That’s when I decided the 15-minute drive back to my farm (and toward more snowy terrain) was also worth sharing.

  

 

 Snowy owls. Snowy horses.

 Snowy farmstead.

Our one-room schoolhouse where my father-in-law attended school is used now for weddings, square dances, and community gatherings. My husband, Nick, is the unofficial mayor of Blaine, a unofficial community that no longer exists, although we (my family and neighbors) own the schoolhouse officially as part of a legal association that my husband and I officiate. Volunteer work parties keep it in working condition.

 Tomorrow, I’ll take you inside the church that is today’s photo-of-the-day and treat you to more photos of my neighbors’ homesteads. Tune in again tomorrow!

Leave a comment 12 Comments

  1. Cherry says:

    Such a beautiful way of life, slow and simple….Oh, how I long for just a weekend of such loveliness.

  2. Debra Davis says:

    What a great outing! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Pingback: I Found One! Day 2 | Raising Jane Journal

  4. Pam deMarrais says:

    What a great story! I loved hearing the contributing factors to the migration, and I truly enjoyed the beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sherry says:

    I am so jealous! I’ve been trying to catch a glimpse of an owl (any kind) for at least the past five years near our home in the catskill mountains of upstate NY. I can hear them hoot on the outskirts of our field, but have never seen a bird. Last fall my husband said one night when I wasn’t home (of course) he heard so many behind our house he assumed they must be migrating. My neighbor unfortunately ran into one with her car while he was diving for a mouse on the road. So, evidently their are indeed many in our area, yet I have yet to spot one. 🙁 Thanks for your beautiful photos – & wish me luck owl prowling… 🙂

  6. Pingback: I Found One! Day 4 | Raising Jane Journal

  7. What a serene setting! I wish I were there. I admire your magazine and books…my lifelines since I became disabled in 2010. I get soooo excited when my magazine arrives; and I save them for reference.
    Yes the are dog eared and well read. I share them with my sister and as a result we are both living greener-she is a convert. I am lookin for a treadle sewing machine that works-I have one that cannot be fixed- it is from the 1800’s and someone was throwing it out 3 years ago and I rescued it. One of the pieces of the main machine mechanism-connected to the thread uptake is broken off!
    Keep up the good work! God bless….Sisterhood #2938

  8. Eileen Widman says:

    I love these photos!
    We have had a mated pair of Snowy Owls around our little farmstead in Quilcene Washington several winters in a row. I have not been able to get a photo of them though. My neighbor up the hill hears them at night too and we can hear them calling back and fourth to each other through the night. Such a great place to live, where the wildlife is still wild.

  9. Pingback: Summer Day in the Neighborhood-Day One | Raising Jane Journal

  10. Pingback: Summer Day in the Neighborhood, Day Two | Raising Jane Journal

  11. Penny says:

    I really like your pictures and would like permission to paint a few of them. At this point I am a not painting for sale, just thought I would let you know. Thank you and look forward to your reply.

    • MaryJane says:

      We’d rather you didn’t paint from this bunch because we turn them into cards and sometimes we paint them ourselves. Thanks for your understanding.

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