While the hot philanthropy in Silicon Valley is trying to give away the Internet to the most remote corners of the globe, so those same philanthropists can show advertisements to the people there, I happen to think a similar but more compelling initiative is to give iPhones (TM) to snow owls.
After watching their important work first hand last year, as described in the post Baltimore, New Jersey, I’ve become a lifelong fan and supporter of the amazing Project Snowstorm. OK, so Project Snowstorm doesn’t give the owls actual iPhones (TM), but they do give them effectively the same thing: cellular devices that transmit their location, their movements, and their data. The things that researchers learn from this data are unprecedented and the value can’t be overstated. But iPhones (TM) are pricey and there is no money in making the world a better place (unless of course you are selling ads while doing so) and so they need our help.
The Silicon Valley elite probably would not bother trying to give away the Internet to people if there were not ads to sell in return, so you should be offered something in return for giving an iPhone (TM) to a snow owl. Each of the following classic Readings From The Northside photos is currently available as a 30×40 canvas print to anyone willing to help outfit a snow owl with an iPhone (TM). The finely textured canvas is hand stretched around a wood frame and sits two inches off the wall.
Your choice of the following photos is available printed on canvas in any size up to the maximum of 30×40 inches if you make a Happy Hedwig donation to Project Snowstorm. The Happy Hedwig is a top-tier donation to the project. The $3,000 donation covers the cost of a new cellular transmitter for a snowy owl so good folks behind Project Snowstorm can continue their important research.
Readings From The Northside is donating these canvases to Project Snowstorm, so 100% of your donation goes to fund a new transmitter, and the canvas print you choose is yours, to thank you for your generosity and support of this important project. The 30×40 canvases have a retail value of $2,000. And the benefits of your donation are truly priceless.
Visit the Project Snowstorm Fundraising Campaign to make your donation and put some snow up on your wall! You can choose any of the following:
Slow Shutter Snowy
When snow owls spend time down the shore, they often like to spend their days perched in the dunes. On this windy afternoon, a snow owl found a nice spot to roost in the golden dune grass. But sadly for me, not only was he mostly hidden by the grass, but the strong winds kept blowing them in front of his face. I realized I would not be able to get a decent photo of him, but decided to try a long shot: slowing the shutter speed on the camera to blur the moving grasses. It took dozens of tries, but in this one photo the owl sat still just long enough not to be blurry.
While snow owls are generally regarded as diurnal animals, in actual experience down the shore they pretty much sleep all day, face to the sun, like little sunflowers. While most people love to see snow owls with their gorgeous yellow eyes wide open, a sleeping snow owl is about as adorable a thing as you’ll ever see on the wild beach.
Oh No, My Tracks!
A snow covered beach is rare. This snow owl seemed to be enjoying its natural camouflage and appeared far more confident than usual that I couldn’t see it. But when it noticed it had left tracks in the snow, it became obsessed with them, continually looking at them, perhaps hoping they would go away and not disturb its perfect camouflage.
With a lack of good, high perches, snow owls often use their hover skills to watch for prey scurrying through the marsh. This snow owl was happily hovering and occasionally finding small mammals for its breakfast. Unlike a helicopter though, a snow owl hovers in almost complete silence. A truly magical moment!
Snow & Sea
Most of the photos you’ll see of snow owls at the beach show them roosting in the dune. But left undisturbed, they will often spend the majority of their time on the open beach especially if they can find a perfect piece of driftwood to use as a perch. In this photo, I had left the snow owl alone as he slept in the dune and was sitting by the water watching a seal. Just as I was about to leave, I turned to gather my gear and almost had a heart attack when I noticed that this snow owl had landed right next to me, so silently I did not even know. I sat motionless for an hour, marveling at his big, furry feet, until he finally flew to another perch.
Visit the Project Snowstorm Fundraising Campaign to make your donation and put some snow up on your wall!