|Total Shots taken||679|
|Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %)||24 (3.5%)|
Quite honestly, I found this location “on the humble” (which is old-school speak to say that I stumbled into it). In my search for a fall floral finery photography outing, I found the Howell Nature Center in Howell Michigan, and its fall photography workshop. For me, the impetus was to spend some quality time with my sister who is as passionate about photography as I am. So, in July, I signed us up for this mid-October photography event.
Fast forward to this past weekend. The fall colors were beginning to peak in Michigan. My sister and I enjoyed the drive to the nature center, reflecting on the beautiful, cold clear day, and the bright red, gold, and yellow leaves on the trees flanking the expressway. Upon our arrival, we took the walking tour, where we learned Howell had a wildlife clinic that serves over 2,300 birds, mammals, and other animals each year. Howell’s motto is “Heal. Grow. Be Wild.”– a testimony to their ability to return 55% of the injured animals back to nature.
“So what?” you say. Well, a photo session was scheduled following the classroom portion of the workshop. As a result of their mission, the nature center staff was able to stage resident birds and animals for this session: French barn owl. Barrel owl. Kestrel. Bald eagle. Porcupine. Up close and in person… here are some of the 5* images to prove it.
- The Kestrel (2) – This blue and orange feathered kestrel, a member of the falcon family, preened for us first by profiling, they showing its finery by fanning its tail feathers.
- Screech Owl – This owl blends perfectly against the tree limb where it is resting. An amazing bird, that turned its head slowly, closing first one eye, then the other. And what beautiful eyes they are!
- Barrel Owl – Ooohhh! He’s so cute! I can hear you! I know that is what I say every time I look at this image. And I love the berries and leaves around his perch.
- French Barn Owl – Is it too stereotypical to have found this one in a barn? I love its snowy face against the darkened barn interior and leaves.
- Great Horned Owl (2) – But the most captivating eyes belong to the great horned owl, whose hazel eyes and bushy brows make for a piercing stare.
These birds were permanently injured, and couldn’t be returned to the wild. Their home is in the Howell Nature Center, in a habitat that is crafted like their natural environs. The Howell Nature Center features them in the educational and wildlife programs, and for programs like this photography workshop. I hope you enjoy this view of nature’s finest, reclaimed after being injured, and my 5* images from this fabulous location!