Great Gray Owl
Anyone who has hunted one of these creatures knows just how difficult they are to find. I owe this opportunity to my good friend Brent Paull, also a photographer. His knowledge of Yellowstone Park as well as the animals it contains never ceases to amaze me. We hiked into Canyon Meadows, a series of six small meadows near Canyon Village, specifically to find the Great Gray Owl. We had hiked ever so quietly through the first three meadows with nothing. Then Brent paused and wispered, as he motioned his hand over the meadow, saying he usually spots them just above the meadow floor. As he swept his hand across, there it was. The great gray owl. We photographed it for at least an hour as it moved from tree to tree at one point flying directly overhead. The light in the dense forest was far too muted to allow a good photo. At one point, I noticed the owl was looking up and circling it’s head about. A bald eagle was circling overhead and the owl had locked in on it. Because it was autumn, a bull elk could be heard bugling in the near distance and soon appeared in a nearby meadow. Just another fond Yellowstone momment with a photo for the memory.