Short-eared Owl On An Old Juniper Fence Post

/, Box Elder County, Short-eared Owls, Utah/Short-eared Owl On An Old Juniper Fence Post

Short-eared Owl male on a old juniper fence postShort-eared Owl male on a old juniper fence post – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

It might seem strange to miss an old fence post but I do. The fence was made with barbed wire and what people here call cedar but it was actually made from junipers. The fence posts were worn, weathered, crooked, split and each post had a character of its own and they could have been there for 50 years or longer.

I loved taking photos of birds on those old fence posts like this male Short-eared Owl that was looking down to the ground for prey. I photographed him on the weathered fence post in mid June of this year with one of his young nearby.

I didn’t know then that it would be the last photo I would take of birds on the old fence or this particular fence post. I guess the old fence was good enough to keep sheep inside it but not good enough to keep cattle in it because that fence was torn down and replaced.

Stormy weather over Box Elder CountyStormy weather over Box Elder County – Nikon D810, f10, 1/800, ISO 320, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18mm, natural light

It was replaced with dark metal poles with bright yellow-green tips. I wasn’t happy to see the new fence at all and I still can’t look at it without thinking of all the birds I had photographed on the old fence posts.

I guess some people might think it is odd to miss those old fence posts but I do and I happen to know I am not alone.  I know we will miss photographing birds on the fence posts that were torn down.

Life is good.



  1. Elephants Child August 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Echoing others. I love the weathered old posts. And sometimes progress is a completely retrograde step. Or so my grumpy self insists.

    • Laura Culley August 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Yesterday I asked myself if I’d ventured into the You-kids-get-off-my-grass stage of my life. Of course, I don’t have any grass here, nor are there any kids to get on it, but the point remains. I think I’m there. I have to keep reminding myself about yin and yang, yin and yang. But there seems to be more yin than yang these days (says the cranky old crone…LOL) . 😉

  2. Pepe Forte August 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    I am also very fond of your images of birds on gnarly old fence posts or aged tree branches. The weathering and the character of the wood speaks to the toll of many years. It is probably no coincidence that my kids look at me the same way. Great post Mia. Thanks.

  3. Patty Chadwick August 13, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Wonderful images!!!

  4. Laura Culley August 13, 2017 at 9:59 am

    No, you are NOT alone! And the best I can do this morning is to echo what Patty, Liz and April have already said. We lose so much with our incessant quest for progress. And only a few of us really GET that.

    • Patty Chadwick August 13, 2017 at 11:29 am

      I used to think that “progress” meant FORWARD MOVEMENT TOWARD SOMETHING BETTER”. I realize now that was naive…it often means going backward or downward toward something worse…

  5. Patty Chadwick August 13, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I have always loved the look of old weathered wood fence posts..Loved the silver colors, the textures, the warmth of them, the naturalness of them…these metal ones are cold and ugly looking…the only thing I can say in their fsvor, is that at least fewer trees may be cut down for fence posts…

  6. Liz Cormack August 13, 2017 at 9:02 am

    No, you are not alone when it comes to old fence posts. I love the old weathered look. Not impressed by the new fencing at all.

  7. April Olson August 13, 2017 at 6:30 am

    That is sad. I like the old west look of the fence. I have not been that way since we released the Burrowing Owl.

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