WASHINGTON VILLAGE — The Gibbs Library will offer a closing reception for the "Joy of Birds," photo exhibit by Patti Forster, a local birder and photographer. The reception will be held Friday, Feb. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. All are welcome. Photos will be for sale to raise money for the library.
Forster's bird photographs capture fleeting moments with feathered neighbors, an interesting tilt of the head or a sparkle in the eye, and create a lesson in ornithology with photographs of more than a dozen different species easily observable in this state, such as the common house sparrow and the eagle, as well as a few a little harder to find, such as the great gray owl or the glossy ibis.
Forster spent four hours in the snow along with many other avid bird photographers enjoying the splendor of getting to observe the tallest owl in North America, the great gray owl, according to the Library, in a news release.
"This owl is rarely seen in Maine,” said Forster. “It is more common in Canada, Alaska, and the northwestern United States. I read a Maine Birds Facebook page post about this great gray owl sighting and thought it would be fun to see it but didn’t try at the time. A week later, people were still posting about this owl in Searsmont, so I decided to grab my camera and take the twenty-minute journey to the last posted location. On my drive over, I almost turned back home, thinking how silly I was to believe I might, by chance, see this owl while I was driving along the road. Well, I didn’t see the owl from the road, but I did come across a lot of cars parked on the side. Just over a hill, I spotted about a dozen photographers, camouflaged cameras with giant zoom lenses on tripods. I couldn’t see the owl at first, even though others pointed in the direction of the bird. One kind observer let me look through his spotting scope. Once I knew where the owl was located, I was mesmerized. Four hours later, and over 500 photos taken, I came out with a few good shots after the owl flew to a closer location."
The photos will be on exhibit throughout the month of February at the Gibbs Library located at 40 Old Union Road, in Washington Village, open on Monday, 4 - 7 p.m.; Tuesday 9 a.m. - noon, and 4-7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 3-6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (207) 845-2663