I hadn't photographed an owl since Oct 22 and have been getting kinda antsy to find one. I've been looking for them but just haven't had any success.  So when I woke up this morning, I thought back to last Christmas day when I found a very cooperative great gray owl in a massive blizzard. It was an experience I will remember forever as the snow was incredibly beautiful and the owl was active and seemingly performing for me. The snowstorm created challenging photography with wet gear, snowy viewfinder, no autofocus and snow piling up everywhere but it was magical. Here are a few images from that morning: Christmas day, 2014:

(as always, click the pics for bigger, better versions)

So as I reminisced this morning about last year, I decided to go to the same location that I found the owl last year on this day.  After a short time of trudging through 2-foot-deep snow, guess what I found...  Yep, my Christmas owl.

My first owl in over two months, with a fresh dump of snow and he cooperated nicely.

I got some good exercise tromping through the snowy forest, watched him hunt (he caught two gophers) and made some nice photographs.

Merry Christmas!