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Flammulated Owl in Death Valley

Photo by Michael Siebold

This little one is a Flammulated Owl I saw on a hike in Death Valley last month. It's also a perfect example of why I love my new landscape lenses. I found the little one on the back end of a 2 mile hike in 100+ degree heat in Golden Canyon. I had decided to take the hike for some landscape photography and to walk through some of the filming spots from Star Wars: A New Hope. Loved the hike and I think I got some nice shots from it, but on the way back I saw what I knew had to be an owl I'd never seen before sitting in the shadows on the canyon wall. Normally I would have had a 70-200 as my long landscape lens and to bring a wildlife lens along I would have had to lug an 8 lb behemoth with me. Since I moved tot he R5, I picked up a 100-500 for landscapes and while I love it for those, it's also proved extremely useful as a hiking wildlife lens. There have been two or three once-in-a-long-time opportunities just like this one that I would have missed had I been limited to 200 mm. All that to say, it's been a lot of fun to be that much more ready for those unexpected gifts.


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  • Those big eyes

      • A different kind of cute but cute nonetheless, looks like a robber out of something like The Wind in the Willows lol

        • I tried to get it to look cute, but it kept making it so pouty looking.

          Ever since someone pointed out the free ArtBot though, I've been practicing learning to talk our future overlord's language. It's interesting to see the interpretations the LLMs make. This was the best of my 16 attempts (4 prompts making 4 attempts each).

          • If it helps, I was questioning there for a minute whether it was an actual tacky porcelain animal from like the 70's haha

            You're more patient than I am that's for sure, I would probably get too frustrated to go through that process lol

            • I mainly just enjoy learning new things, plus it takes the right amount of time between some of my morning tasks today. Even getting a reasonablly close hat is tough. Most of them looked more like Pilgrims, and even though I told it to make it look like Puss in Boots, it didn't look anything catlike and it didn't even include boots whatsoever until I made a description of those. I specified it should be holding the hat in front of itself, though as you can see, that never happened.

              If you enjoy owl kitsch, check out this post from my stop at The Zenith.

              • Hey, no judgment here, sounds like you enjoy messing around with it, and it's definitely a skill that takes practice! I just know that personally I don't have the patience for that and would end up rage quitting in frustration lmao
                I do find it interesting that it didn't figure out the cat like aspect of things, considering how similar they can look!

                Love that post! The orange and blue twin owls popped out at me the most, they look so cheeky 😂

                • There were so many owls in that room! I saw it on YouTube, but it was smaller and more intense feeling in person. It's just surreal having that many eyes on you in a bathroom!

                  • It looks incredible but I definitely couldn't brave that in person myself, consider that an accomplishment lol

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