Snowy Owls

I heard that there were snowy owls at the coast and the pictures I saw of them caught my wonder. They looked like beautiful creatures. The weather promised to be fair at the coast, so, even though I was sick, we drove the 2 hours to see them. During the walk I was able to count nine different birds. They seemed in bewilderment about all the people with their cameras large and small. I was in amazement upon seeing them. They sat half asleep while every so often rotating their heads in a complete view of their surroundings. Every so often one would yawn, open their eyes, take a look, and decide that sleep was more important.

I'm not speaking to you...

The owls I saw all were either immature or female. If I understand correctly, the more mature birds can turn entirely white.

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl

Sick or not, it was a beautiful sight to behold these gorgeous birds.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Solar Pillars and Lenticularis…

I started playing around with the new Adobe Lightroom 4 beta.  I looked back to some photos I had not processed in Lightroom 3 yet. Here are two from January 2011 from near my home in Bonney Lake. I took them along a road I sometimes take on the way to the office. It is hard to not stop and pull out the tripod and camera and see what dawn will present us. In this particular set of shots I had captured both a solar pillar and lenticular clouds above Mount Rainier.

Solar pillars are not rare in the Pacific Northwest due to the mountains. They form as the sun’s light reflects against ice crystals in the sky before the sun breaks the horizon (sunrise) or just after it falls below the horizon (sunset). I unusually under expose these shots to make the pillar stand out.

Solar Pillar looking east toward Bandera Mountain

Lenticular clouds form from the uplift or winds as they flow over mountains and condense to moisture or “wave clouds.”

Lenticular Clouds above Mount Rainier

To get both types of phenomena in the same sunrise is a sign that I’m late to the office.