Steider Studios:  Barred Owl at Tualatin Nature Park

I went back to Tualatin Hills Nature Park just in time to see the last Pileated woodpecker fledge.  You can see it’s first moment outside the nest on my 365 -Empty Nest post.  Afterwards I planned to search for the Barred owl again, but I didn’t have to.  It was sitting on a branch directly over a path around the corner from the woodpecker nest!

Steider Studios:  Barred Owl in Tree

Usually when you see it you have to wonder why you missed it as you walked past it the first time.  This time there was already a group of people under the tree looking up at it so it was easy to spot.

Steider Studios:  Barred Owl Back

This barred owl was smaller than the one I saw last week, but much easier to photograph since he wasn’t in the thick of trees.  As the crowd grew he turned his head watching us.

Steider Studios:  Owl Head Shot

You know I took 500 shots of him.  These are my favorites.  With my new lens!!

Steider Studios: Fluffy Barred Owl

At one point he fluffed up his feathers – isn’t he gorgeous?

Steider Studios:  Barred Owl Fluffed Up

Some people left, others came then left.  I will go back to this amazing park to enjoy again without a crowd.  It has a spiritual, magical feel to it.  You might want to check out their Facebook page to see photos that people share of the amazing landscape and wildlife.

Steider Studios:  Owl Ready to Pounce

My last shot of him is a blur as he flew directly toward, then past me.  This is the last shot before he left the branch.  I could not manipulate my camera with the new lens fast enough to catch his flight.  Still practicing with it!!  Starting to get excited about how I’ll translate these images into glass.

Edit:  I’ve had a couple of requests today for specific images in prints and cards.  I’m adding them to my next order.  If you’d like one of my images in print form or as an all occasion greeting card, let me know so I can include it in my next order.  You can message me via the comments here or email, linda at steider studios dot com.  Thanks for your interest in my work!

Good Birding Karma

May 23, 2014

Steider Studios:  Barred Owl

I’ve had a fantastic week of birding!  After a very successful weekend at the Wine and Pear Festival, I took off Monday for the Tualatin Hills Nature Park because a friend shared his  photos of a Pileated Woodpecker family!  Thank you again Bob!!

Steider Studios:  Owl Taking Off

A HUGE bonus was my very first sighting of a Barred Owl!  It looked like a big fluffy teddy bear and I was mesmerized.  My friend Nancy and I couldn’t believe our good luck (that we now refer to as good birding karma) with how long he let us watch him.

Steider Studios:  Barred Owl

I went back later in the week hoping to find him again but did not.

Steider Studios:  Pileated Woodpecker Three Babies

Our main event, the Pileated Woodpecker pair and their three babies gave us a wonderful viewing and photograph opportunity.  We met a few other photographers who had also heard about this nest high in a snag towards the center of the park.

Steider Studios:  Pileated Woodpecker Family

We watched for several hours, waiting about 45 minutes between feedings.  I had major lens envy knowing that my new Tamron 150 – 600 mm lens was in transit and I’d have it soon.  But I needed it today!

Steider Studios:  Eagle vs Raven at Rowland Lake

Tuesday I went to Rowland Lake – I ran out the door, camera in hand before my husband finished telling me about the heron family, bald eagle, pair of osprey and more birds that he saw that morning while fishing .  I arrived just in time to see a Bald Eagle being chased by a Raven.

Steider Studios:  Heron at Rowland Lake 5.20.14

I watched two Great Blue Herons fishing at Rowland Lake but did not see the babies.

Steider Studios:  Heron in Flight at Rowland Lake

I love the challenge of capturing any bird in flight and am very happy with this Great Blue Heron.

Steider Studios:  Osprey Above

I watched an Osprey grab a fish that seemed to big for him to carry right in front of me.  Shooting from behind a stand of trees, that photo was too blurry to keep.

Steider Studios:  Eagle in Treetop

The Bald eagle ditched the Raven and perched atop a pine tree for about an hour.  Using my car as a blind I slowly rose up through my moon roof to capture him.   I was still thinking about that new lens I did not have yet, and how much closer I could get if I had it.

Steider Studios:  Pileated Woodpecker with Baby

Wednesday I went back to Tualatin knowing the baby woodpeckers would be leaving their nest any day.  I was hoping to see them fledge.  I was hoping to see the owl again.  Neither happened, but I met more photographers and had a thrilling time watching the feathered family.

Steider Studios:  New lens first photo

Thursday I helped a friend in her garden and when I arrived home, guess what?!!  My NEW LENS ARRIVED!!!  I tore open the box, attached the lens and went out to my garden.  This is my first shot, hand-held (wow is that thing heavy!) with no editing other than sizing.  Not a great photo, but I’m thrilled with the clarity and how much closer I can now photograph birds and wildlife!

Steider Studios:  Chickadees

I ran in, checked the images then ran back out.  I’ve got a pair of Chickadees in the garden – building a nest or feeding babies?  The pair took turns flying into the nest, and I caught this image of the male arriving before the female departed.  I didn’t hear babies chirping so I’m wondering if they’ve hatched at all yet.  I cropped and down-sized this image but didn’t take time for any other edits.  If it were a ‘keeper’, I’d probably lighten it a bit.  I did use my tripod for a series of the chickadees flying in and out.

Tomorrow I’m heading east for a lead on another Pileated Woodpecker nest with babies.  Today I MUST catch up with studio business, household stuff and practice more with my new lens.  Or maybe just practice – can’t the other stuff wait a little longer?!!!

If you’d like to see more of my bird photography I post frequently on my Steider Studios Facebook page.  Many of my images are published into greeting cards, canvas wraps and metal prints available in my Artfire shop and my Zibbet shop.

You can also subscribe to my blog to get an email update each time I post by clicking the box in the column at the right, towards the top of this page.  I can’t wait to show you all the new photos I’m about to take with my new Tamron 150 – 600 zoom lens!!!

Steider Studios:  Osprey mating.1

While preparing for the upcoming Wine and Pear Festival, I decided to take a break early Tuesday morning.  I am so happy that I did.

Steider Studios:  Osprey mating.2

I left at o dark thirty to check up on the eight Osprey nests that I watch along the Columbia River and arrived at this one just in time.

Steider Studios:  Osprey mating.3

I am thrilled that I captured a series of photos from this pair (that I haven’t finished going through yet because I am my own task master.  There is an event coming up rather quickly, after all!)

Steider Studios:  Osprey mating.4

The Columbia River Gorge is a magical place to live, filled with wonders of nature around every bend in the river.  Many of my images will be available in my booth this weekend as greeting cards and prints on metal.  Some of them are available via Zibbet and Artfire ~ I will add more images after my last art show of the season.  This set of images will definitely be included in my next order!

Steider Studios:  Osprey mating5

My adventure on Tuesday ended just as magically as it began.  Have a great weekend everyone & if you’re at the Wine and Pear Festival, let me know that you read my blog!  Come see my newest work!!


Steider Studios: Montage for Mom's Da

Photo montage in honor of strong women who push the next generation forward.  Yes, it’s ok to be pushy, bossy, and strong.  Happy Mother’s Day to all women who encourage, empower, inspire and lead the way.

My mom was in the navy, became a deputy sheriff and was among the first women working the streets in patrol.  She taught self defense for women; oversaw and encouraged incarcerated women learning a trade; and was one of two women and scores of men involved in the raid at Spahn Ranch that ultimately put the ‘Manson family’ behind bars.  She later put herself through college and trained at the FBI academy through LASD.  She referred to all these accomplishments as “A feather in my cap”.

She taught me independence, honesty and determination among many other things.  She showed me how to savor a book and how to clean a house (neither of which I have time for at the moment).  When young we played her records over and over, memorizing the tunes that she liked to dance to – Elvis, Marty Robbins, The Platters, Everly Brothers, Chubby Checkers, Sarah Vaughan, Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole, The Brothers Four …  Although she laments she didn’t do enough, what a rich childhood she gave me.  I wouldn’t be who I am if she had done anything differently.  Thanks Mom.  I love you.


Steider Studios:  Path to Elowah Falls

My friend Lori said to take a workshop with David Cobb or any of the Photo Cascadia ‘Best of the Northwest’ photographers if I had an opportunity.

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls

I found a workshop offered here at home in the Columbia River Gorge with David Cobb and Zack Schnepf so I didn’t have any travel expenses!

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls

Zack is the son of my glassy friend, Raphael Schnepf, so I thought it would be a very fun adventure and I was right!!

Steider Studios:  Bottom of Elowah Falls

 I took this series of shots at our first session at Elowah Falls at dark thirty in the morning.  Yes, dark thirty – I left home at 5am!  Mist was so high many of us got soaked while crossing the bridge in the foreground.

Steider Studios:  Ferns Against Black Rocks

I played with different exposures & settings looking for that ‘wow’ factor.  Not sure I found it, but I had fun and the experience was enlightening.

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls Hiking In

I like how you can see the falls and creek in this shot through the lush trees along the path.

Steider Studios:  Moss.Lichen

I always like focusing on details when I’m out and about.

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls.Hiking Out

Another shot of the falls and creek through the forest from another stop in the path.

Steider Studios:  Wild Bleeding Heart

Wildflowers were plentiful.

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls Through Trees

I think I like how the trees and branches frame the falls……

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls Through Trees.Cropped

…I like it cropped better though.  Which version do you prefer?

I have a thousand photos to go through, so will have to take a couple of posts to tell you about the entire weekend.  It was fantastic & I have to agree with Lori – if you have an opportunity to take a workshop with David Cobb, Zack Schnepf or any of the excellent photographers from Photo Cascadia do it!

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