Owl Family in City Park, Appleton, WI
I have lived in the City Park neighborhood in Appleton, WI, for ten years. It is a historic area that includes Lawrence University and many of the city’s historic houses. In late December, owls can be heard making their mating calls at night. This year I came upon people in the park looking up at a large tree, and I instantly knew what they were gazing upon…young owlets, three of them! I had been out that day photographing the Gibbons Moon coming up in the early evening over Lake Winnebago in Menasha, so I stopped, grabbed my camera, and got a few shots. Unfortunately, it was dusk by this time, so I was limited to just a few pictures in the oncoming darkness.
I returned over several days to shoot more, but the weather was not cooperating as Wisconsin weather can be unpredictable at any time of the year. Then, on Friday, the sun appeared and I took the short trip from my home and photographed the owlets and both adults. I was aided by television news reporter and cameraman Eric Peterson from Fox 11 News in Green Bay, who pointed out the male in a nearby evergreen tree. Eric asked if he could interview me, and I accepted his offer and ended up on the five o’clock news! It has been many years since I’ve seen owls in the wild; it was as a teenager in Smith Park in Menasha. Photographing wildlife is not something that I often do, but I recently purchased a Tamron 200-500—mm lens, and it creates more opportunities to get those tighter shots. Things worked out for me on this day. Some fine images of the entire owl family and a TV interview too!