here’s a photo similar to some i’ve taken before on a white background. i haven’t entirely mastered the black background yet, but in this case, it is clearly superior. there’s no way a white background could show how the base of this great horned owl feather dissolves into the ragged silver hairs that both insulate this northern species, and muffle the sound its wings make as it hushes through the air in pursuit of something completely unsuspecting. no sound of whistling or wind, as the air spills from between those downy little filaments. i have had an owl fly right over my head, and if i hadn’t noticed it’s huge bulk, i might have been like so many of its meals–oblivious until it was too late.

great horned owl feather (Bubo virginianus)

rice creek regional trail, lino lakes, minnesota

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