The new year is here and a chill is in the air. In other words, another great day for an owl adventure in Forest Park with the perpetually friendly Mark Glenshaw! Unusually entertaining and witty for a dedicated naturalist, Mark's interest in and enthusiasm for nature and owls continues to burn strong as we enter this 15th year of his documenting this family of great horned owls. Be sure your camera is ready (fully charged batteries, empty memory card and a 300mm or greater telephoto lens) as there will most likely be some great opportunities for capturing fabulous images. Sign up soon, though, as space is very limited!
Be sure to dress for the weather, don't wear fur (!!) have good walking shoes, preferably waterproof, and be prepared to walk for 2 hours in what ever weather awaits us. Here are Mark's recommendations:
There is parking and restrooms at the visitors' center. Please make sure you know how to get there ahead of time. If you do not, please consult Google Maps or MapQuest. One additional note of caution: do not confuse Grand Drive with Grand Boulevard. Grand Drive is a modestly sized street in Forest Park while Grand Boulevard is a major north-south street a few miles east of Forest Park. A prowl lasts about two hours.
• If you have binoculars, please bring them.
• No flash, please.
• Mute your camera sounds.
• Do not wear anything made out of fur or even fake fur. Owls have been known to attack people wearing such garb, as the owls probably mistake the fur as belonging to animals they can capture and eat.
• Do NOT bring your dog or other pets on the prowl.
• We will be in dirt and mud so wear footwear and clothes that will keep you warm and dry and that you don't mind getting dirty and muddy.
• The prowl will involve walking 2-3 miles up and downhill so covered shoes, no sandals.
• Wear muted shades of brown, tan, green, grey, and black. NO white or other bright colors.
• If you have blond or white hair, please wear a hat that covers your hair.
• Wear layers for the cold weather. Here’s a guide by temperature:
- 70 degrees or warmer, one-two layers, hat
- 60 degrees or warmer: one-three layers
- 50-60 degrees: three-four layers
- 40-50 degrees: four-five layers, hat and gloves
- 30-40 degrees: five-six layers, hat and gloves
- 30-0 degrees: six-seven layers, hat and gloves
Cotton is for hot days. Wool and polyester are for cold days
• If the temperature is 40 degrees or lower, wear long underwear, warm hats, warm gloves, warm everything is a must. Keeping your extremities warm is vital.
• Once sunset hits, the temperature will go down noticeably so make sure your clothing can handle the drop in temperature.
• A lot of owl prowling is standing still so wear clothes that will keep you warm even when you are not moving.
• A thermos of hot drink is a huge aid in cold weather.
• In warm weather, definitely bring cold water
• In summer, please put on bug spray. (Long pants are recommended against bugs, poison ivy, etc)
• You may bring children 12 and older only if they are photographers
Please follow these above points very carefully. The more comfortable you are, the more you will enjoy the prowl. There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes for that weather.
If you need to reach Mark on the day of the prowl, please call him on his cell phone:[masked]