June 24, 2018
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Snowy owl soars above Acadia

By Dave Small, Special to the BDN

As cold and windy as it was on the Monday after New Year’s day, Deb and I decided to hike the South Ridge Trail on Cadillac Mountain. Two objectives were in mind: “Can I still do it?” and, “Maybe we’ll see the snowy owl.” Shortly after clearing the tree line it became apparent just how windy it was.

Both feet needed to be on the ground when a gust hit. The trail was great, ice-free and mostly dry. All in all a great day for a hike. Having read several writings from other birders who had successful sightings of the snowy owl, I had it pictured in my mind as sitting on a ledge, back to the sun and wind.

I have never seen a snowy owl in the wild, so my expectations were minimal.

As Deb and I traversed the whale’s back, and stopped for a breather just before the decent to the Featherbed we noticed a small, I mean tiny, white, whiter than snow, speck on the ledges. We guessed that the location was about half way between the South Ridge Trail and the A. Murry Young Path. We also saw a pair of hikers walk past the spot, which didn’t move.

Although, we didn’t know if this spot was the owl, I began taking images, just in case. As we neared the object, our thoughts were running from, “It must be the owl” to “Maybe it’s just a white rock or some carelessly discarded trash.” At one point, through my lens I thought I’d seen eyes.

Deb and I proceeded slowly along the trail and soon were rewarded for our effort with the majestic image of the Cadillac Mountain snowy owl … what a treat.

We photographed and watched it from the trail for only a few minutes when it took flight. Wow!

Our excitement carried us to the top. We enjoyed a quick snack and headed down. A great day it the great Maine outdoors.

The photos do not do the experience justice, but I’d like to share them anyway. They are in sequence as Deb and I saw it.

If you have not visited my web site in a while, here’s my address. http://photosbychance.zenfolio.com/

Take a peek.



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