You have read in the past about special encounters I have had with a particular animal.  It is a time where everything seems to be blessed by God and there is nothing to stop it from happening.  On this day, in an undisclosed location, I was walking a trail along a wooded area when to my front, I see a huge bird break from a perch and fly deeper into the woods. 

I knew there were barred owls here, but the blur looked more like a great horned to me.  I scanned the trees, but saw nothing.  It was a dense canopy, full of summertime leaves and branches.

Well, I decided to keep going as my main goal was photographing white-tailed fawns.  I walked a good mile with no luck and I turned back the opposite direction toward my vehicle.  I began to get closer to where I had seen the blur of feathers only 30 or so minutes before.

As I neared the area, I heard the distinctive call "who cooks for you" in the distance.  I have no idea why people think it sounds like "who cooks for you", but it has become forever ingrained into bird watching.  It is one of those strange things in birding.

I texted my brother, who is up in PA, that I thought I might be onto a barred owl and he was about 100 yards away at this point.  This is where my adrenaline starts to peak slightly and I become much more focused on the task at hand.  

The barred owl call had stopped, but I kept going back to the cut through path.  As I rounded the corner, once again a large shape was moving in the canopy, it then flew back to another tree.  I knew that it was not breeding season, so I got out my barred owl call and just hit it one time.

All at once, the barred owl, dropped down, seemingly out of no where, and headed straight toward the call.  They have incredible sound locating capability and he was literally aligned perfectly with me, but then he flew straight up and landed on a branch only 20 feet from my frozen body.

At this point, it should be noted, that humans have terrible reflexes in this type of situation.  We often have a moment of being frozen when confronted by something unexpected.

Once I recovered from that shock, I pulled my camera to my eye and began to shoot away.  The owl just sat there as calm and has happy as he could be.  He would occasionally look at me then survey the are and then just relax.   I got the feeling this was his favorite perch and probably where he flew from before.  Now, understand that in this area, they probably see people fairly often.  Hikers and so forth.

So, to make a long story shorter, I continued to shoot for about 20 minutes and he/she just posed.  Finally, I walked away and left her to continue her day and she stayed perched right there.  I'll have to tell you another time, what happened another 10 minutes after that, because that was almost as good. 

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