An owl and a weathered tractor

Great gray owl in the trees - © Christopher Martin-7538

I have loved photographing one old, weathered tractor for years.  It sits in a field that is home to horses now and I think it has been enjoying its retirement there for many years before I ever found it.

For the first time, I met the gentleman who owns this tractor, the horses and the land this past weekend.  We had a pleasant conversation while we enjoyed watching this Great gray owl hunting along his fence line.  Peter was very familiar with this owl and it was great to learn some new things about it.

Great gray owl in the trees - © Christopher Martin-7434

Shortly after he left, the owl flew off the fence line and into a stand of trees near the tractor.  I set up for a dive I hoped would come but was very happy when the next flight was not into the grass but over to the steering wheel on this much admired, at least to me, tractor.

Great gray owl on a tractor - © Christopher Martin-7448

From this perch, the owl’s glowing eyes scanned the surrounding grass.

Scouting from the steering wheel - © Christopher Martin-7534

After a few minutes it hunched down, signalling that it may fly.  It paused for a couple of seconds and then launched.

Great gray owl in the trees - © Christopher Martin-7539

This bird is an excellent hunter so it was no surprise that the strike was successful.  As they like to do, after the pounce the owl looked around to check his surroundings as they are vulnerable when down on the ground.  It stared at me to check that I hadn’t made any moves or movements that signalled a change in my intent.

Great gray owl on the field - © Christopher Martin-7550

It swallowed the mouse on the ground and then flew back to the same perch on the tractor.

What's up? - © Christopher Martin-7630

It idled on the wheel for a couple of minutes, preoccupied for a moment with something it noticed in the sky above, before heading into the trees.  These were the trees where I had gone into when I was photographing him on the tractor so I had a front row seat to the forest hunt and three different perches before he flew uphill and out of sight.

Great gray in the trees - © Christopher Martin-7712

Great gray in the trees - © Christopher Martin-7769

Great gray in the trees - © Christopher Martin-7800

10 responses

  1. Pingback: Sonntagsleserin April 2015 | buchpost

  2. More amazing photos. I’m just a little (I mean a lot) jealous. 🙂

    April 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm

  3. Anonymous

    amazing …. words after words … situation cleared

    April 28, 2015 at 12:14 am

  4. These are soooo cool! I love the tractor and the owl separately but together super amazing!

    April 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm

  5. Great story and images!

    April 27, 2015 at 5:02 pm

  6. You must have been over the moon to get these great shots. The ones with the owl on the tractor steering wheel are really neat.

    April 27, 2015 at 4:48 pm

  7. I’d say you were in the right place at the right time. Thanks for sharing.

    April 27, 2015 at 4:07 pm

  8. Spectacular! The tractor adds such a great dimension to the photos. I especially love the one of the owl in flight right over the steering wheel. As always, your posts are something I look forward to!

    April 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

  9. rockmom71

    Wow! These are amazing!

    April 27, 2015 at 3:04 pm

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