A 52-Week Photo Journey

… Mary Nell Moore's Photography


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Week 35 – #47. The Eye

This past week, I went with three other photographers down to Cape Coral to photograph the burrowing owls. We had a blast photographing these adorable little owls. The one in this photo kept giving me “the eye.” It was difficult to select only one photo which best represented this week’s theme, but I chose this one for the composition and hint of spring that the wild flowers represented. Some history of the burrowing owls in Cape Coral: Cape Coral also has the distinction of having the largest population of the Florida species of the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia floridana) in the State, with an estimated 1000 nesting pair.

At only 5-8.5 ounces and7.5-11 inches tall, the Burrowing Owl is one of the smallest of all the owls, and of the 171 species of owls worldwide, the only owl that lives underground. Unlike the Western species of the Burrowing Owl (athene cunicularia hypugaea) that lives in abandoned prairie dog burrows, here in Florida our Burrowing Owls dig their own burrows. Cape Coral has upwards of 2500 burrows within the City limits, but not all of them are actively being used by owls.

Photographers and birders alike come from all over the world to see our Burrowing Owls, and everyone is amazed at how easy it is to see and photograph these beautiful little birds. This doesn’t come without a price. Over the years, one of the main locations to see the Burrowing Owls is the Cape Coral Library. There were multiple burrows located on the streets surrounding the library, all of them very active. Today, only one burrow is still active and it is thought that there was just too much human activity for the owls, and they moved on. While the owls are quite tolerant of humans, getting too close to them too often will cause them to abandon a burrow and move on to a quieter location.

While some of the Western Burrowing Owls migrate, the Burrowing Owls here in Cape Coral do not migrate. They are here year round, but often hide in the summer to avoid the hot summer sun. The best time to see the owls is from January through June, and the best time to see the chicks is late April through June. REFhttp://www.ccfriendsofwildlife.org/burrowing-owl/
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Week 47 – #10. Family Table

I decided to have a little fun this week so ventured up to the Museum District in Chattanooga to photograph families having lunch at a family table. My favorite coffee shop/casual outdoor restaurant is Rembrandts with small wrought iron tables underneath a vine covered canopy. While sipping my latte, I noticed a black bird flying back and forth between a couple of tables and it soon became quite obvious that there were some very serious conversations between it and the customers. Although I was not close enough to hear, I used my imagination and in the first photo below, I imagined the bird saying, “How many times do I have to tell you to look at me when I am talking to you?” In the second photo, it seemed to be saying, “As a Mother, it is your responsibility to teach your child to sit up straight at the table and put away her iPad.”

I’d love to know what you think was being said. If you have any thoughts, please share them with me.
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Week 28 – #39. Shot Through Glass

While in St. Augustine recently, Mike and I were having lunch at a local restaurant located on the water. Seated at a window, we could not help but notice all the sea gulls flying by so naturally I grabbed my trusty camera and shot through glass to capture the gulls in flight.
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17. In A Row

As we were driving to dinner one evening, I could not believe my eyes when I spotted these birds perched all in a row on these wires.  I wish I could’ve gotten all of them in the photo but I did not have my wide angle lens on the camera.  Ironically enough, a few evenings later we decided to go to the same restaurant and there they were again on the same wires.  Strangely enough, both evenings they all decided to leave at the same time.  It was really unusual.  It made me wonder why this happened and which bird made the reservation!