February 7, 2013
Sarah continues to nest and although she is all but impossible to see in the high steep nest except when she takes short breaks out of the nest, she has recently been seen by thousands of people in Missouri and even beyond. There is a gorgeous photo of Sarah and one of the 2012 owlets (Christopher or Velvet) in the new (February 2013) of Missouri Conservationist, the superb monthly magazine of the Missouri Department of Conservation. The picture of Sarah is in an article on Short-Eared Owls written by and with accompanying photographs by Noppadol "Nop" Paothang, one of the magazine's superb photographer. You can see the article here and at the top of the article are nine separate photos. The photo of Sarah is fifth of the nine photos. Check out her talons! When people see with my camera equipment they often ask if I am a photographer. I respond that I am a naturalist who takes photos. Furthermore, I have friends and acquaintances who are professional or semi-professional photographer and to call me a photographer is to insult them! Photos like these by Nop are abundant proof of the difference.
If you are not already a subscriber to Missouri Conservationist, I highly recommend that you subscribe to it immediately. I look forward to its informative articles and superb photography every month. A subscription to it is free to all Missouri households. I am embarrassed to say that I have only been a subscriber for a few years but it is never to late. This link provides subscription information.
I was tipped off about Sarah's appearance in this issue a few weeks ago by Nop himself, which just made my day. I had the great honor and pleasure to meet Nop last year, another day making event itself. I had always admired his work and had heard great things about him but to meet and chat with him took it to another level. His work speaks volumes but to converse with him revealed his copious knowledge of wildlife and a warm, welcoming and modest personality.
In addition to his work for MDC, Nop has his own photography site/business, which you can check out here. In summer 2012 Nop and the writer Joel M. Vance put out a brilliant book about the grouse species that inhabit North American prairies entitled Save The Last Dance: A Story of North American Grassland Grouse. This most recent Xmas I received a copy of this book as a gift from my friend and owl mentee Brenda Hente. Brenda and Nop had corresponded and Nop kindly inscribed the book to me. I have only had time to take a few looks at the book but trust me when I say it is superb. It is also inspiring as a model of how to put together a book on a focused wildlife topic. I hope to write a book or several books on Charles and Sarah and my work with them, their offspring and the wildlife of Forest Park. Thanks for reading!