Shorewood’s Kara Schmitz has always noticed beautiful things in nature, so she carries her phone with her to capture unexpected moments. The winter months can bring some of the most striking scenery—and surprising wildlife guests, like the barred owl who stars in this photo, which received an honorable mention in the Wildlife & Nature category of our 2017 Lens on Lake Minnetonka photo contest.
“We’ve seen these owls before, but this was the closest it has ever come to the house. I couldn’t pass the opportunity up,” Schmitz says. The image of the snow-covered owl was taken on her Canon digital camera, though she takes most images on her Google Pixel 2. She says there are two owls that come back to their family yard every winter: “If you aren’t looking for them, they are really hard to see,” she explains.
Schmitz takes photographs as a hobby, often of her children, who are 8 and 5. “They’re excited when we go on walks and we are able to capture images; they really like to see it,” Schmitz says. She also takes a lot of photos of landscapes and animals. “It’s neat to capture the everyday beauty in our lives, because it can be so different day to day. You don’t know what is going to come when,” Schmitz says. See more of her work on Instagram at @create.inspire.unite.
This photo, Barred, won an honorable mention in our 2017 Lens on Lake Minnetonka photo contest. Starting next month, see some of the winners and finalists of our 2018 contest on this page!