Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Owls Through the Spotting Scope


We bought a spotting scope.

We had often thought about doing it - while watching wolves in Yellowstone, grizzlies in Glacier and moose in Alaska. Watching wildlife is one of our favorite pastimes on our travels. It's not just the thrill of observing these wild animals in their natural habitat, but connecting with other people who share the same passion. If we see someone with a spotting scope we usually stop and ask what they're watching. And usually they let you look through their scope - because you simply want to share the excitement. So it really was only a matter of time until we finally would buy one ourselves.

The owls were the final kick in the butt. While we went up to Mendocino, we went to a store called Out of this World where, among other things, you can buy spotting scopes. They are all lined up at the big windows, directed to the ocean and the cliffs, so you can try them out right there and then. The Geek - never one to make fast decisions - took a couple of hours to look through all the scopes and test them, until we finally made a decision (good thing the owner, James Blackstock, is a very patient person).

And you know what? He didn't like it. We took it to the owls last week and the first three photos here were actually taken through that scope. However, he didn't like that the viewing quality noticeably decreased with fading light and he wanted one with stronger "light power". So the following Sunday - last Sunday - the Geek and I went up to Mendo again while Kaefer stayed with a friend, and exchanged the scope. The one we have now, a Nikon, makes us very very happy. So it was worth the extra trip (I know, we could have shipped it, but I wanted to go into that independent bookstore again!).

The quality of this scope is amazing. And even better, with a point-and-shoot camera you can take gorgeous photos through the spotting scope. The photos you see here I took this evening through the scope - I love the result. And I want to share this with you since I know that there are many among you who followed "my" owls with me and want to know how they are doing.

They're doing great. Both owlets were sitting on a branch high up in a redwood tree, cuddling up. The light of the setting sun was warm and golden. So enjoy these photos - and if you have time, please let me know what you think.




My personal favorite.


14 comments:

Maria Ontiveros said...

Those are all fantastic! I especially like the first square photo - the owls have such great expression in that one.
Rinda

Kay L. Davies said...

Fabulous photos with the second scope. And may I please call your personal favorite MY personal favorite, too?

I am so so so-o-o-o glad the owlet was accepted by his family. Wonderful to see them cuddled up together.

When we were in Costa Rica, my husband took some pictures through our guide's spotting scope, and they were round like your first one. They didn't have the quality you got with your Nikon.
Unfortunately, we are having a one-family boycott of Japan because of dolphin killing, so I don't dare buy him a Nikon anything.
Sigh.

Beautiful photos, Carola. Just wonderful.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Ginnie said...

SOLD! I had never heard of a spotting scope and am so glad you explained it to me previously, Carola. I'm still not sure how you take a picture through it but it sounds like a great idea:
http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1680&bih=835&q=spotting+scope&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

windrock studio said...

Hey Carola, you know I am loving your owl adventures! Absolutely gorgeous images of these cuties.

Marianne said...

Hubby has a scope that he uses when wolf watching in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone. He goes every year. You'll find so many reasons to use yours.
Love these photos. I feel like I can reach out and touch the fuzzy little babys. They are so sweet.

Nancy said...

I had no idea you could do that with a scope. Awesome photos -- I like the last one too. :)

Doone said...

strip me bare and leave me nothing But I KEEP my Nikon d80 and my af-s nikkor 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 G vibration stabilier - drone snore - you geddit.....

spotting scopes - ditto,

Once we watched a goat on a cliff edge climb for two hours with no visible ledges,


and the fun is being able to share a moment of it after the event too...
The owls are amazing, and i love that we have technology that lets me see them with you too...

thank you,

dx

Beth Stone said...

I have so enjoyed "watching" these baby owls grow up... :o) Thanks for sharing! Your photos are wonderful...

Christine E-E said...

Carola... I too had never heard of a spotting lens. I have so much to learn about photography!
The last photos is awesome! I've enjoyed this series of pics, the owl updates, and your thoughtfulness in keeping us connected to nature!
I LOVE Mendo - so I looked through your pics with a curiousness... I recognize some of the store fronts! JPE's has taken me there several times to stay at the Agate Cove B&B (total splurge!)...

see you there! said...

Fantastic! DH has had an interest in photography for years. I wonder if I dare tell him about the spotting scope. Maybe I'd better see how expensive they are first, LOL!

Darla

Lynn said...

WEll I never ever even heard of a spotting scope before but you bet now I want one too. I know and love that store...always buy something there for my grandkids.
sometimes for myself as well.
Your photos are always amazing and the ones through the scope are too.
love the round one...
So glad the owls are doing well.
So they put the fallen owlet back? Yes, I knew that...I think.
;-))

Almost done with the book (Yours)

cath c said...

wow!

Marcie said...

WOW! The scope is amazing!! These images are fantastic...simply fantastic. WOW!

foxysue said...

I'm so very thrilled to see the images, I think we are all attached to this little family, perhaps you should publish your photo-book!?

Sue x