The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
Leaving the nest
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Kevin Wright
By Kevin Wright
May 1, 2013 8:13 a.m.

It was one of those dreary days. A gentle mist was coming down, but it was calm. The rain that had fallen the day before left the earth soft and gentle, making my footsteps fall silent.
I was in the woods to check on my owl family. The babies should be leaving the nest soon, and I want to be there to get a few photographs of the momentous occasion. It’s been just over four weeks since they were born, they are ready to move on.
The long walk to the nest site was quiet. It was still rather dark, so photography would have been out of the question anyway.
Upon arriving in the vicinity of the nesting area, I noticed rather quickly that one of the owls had indeed left the nest. Once leaving the nest, the owls will perch on nearby tree limbs as they stretch and get used to this new “outside” world. The other baby owl is a few days younger and was still sitting on the nest. I got the photographs that I needed and left the area.
But on my way out, I came across my new friends, a small group of deer that allow me to get rather close as they go about their business. I typically just take a seat and let them do their thing. Many times they will come to me, sometimes within five feet or so. It really is quite an experience. They let me take pictures and even talk to them. I believe they know they are safe, so they show little fear. Plus, we have seen each other so many times in the past weeks that maybe they have gotten used to my presence.
Soon enough, they tire and slowly move on, as they always do. I soon follow.

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