Big Lagoon, CA
I met Nova and Chris at the Big Lagoon County Park. They were environmental photographers who spent most of their time working with owls in Northern Michigan. Usually they worked with NGOs in the field, but on this trip that had shot for an environmental consulting company in order to pay the bills.
They had just come from Yosemite – ”where drivers leave their windows open and their convertible tops down to avoid damage from hungry black bears” – and were touring the Redwoods before returning back east. We talked under the trees near their tent to find shelter from the evening rain. Both of them were wearing immensely bright headlamps for spotting owls. Nova spotted one in the tree 15 feet away and passed me the binoculars. It considered me with bright yellow eyes. The next morning, Nova and Chris re-enacted the moment.
They had met while working in the field tracking owls. Chris was Nova’s boss; they hooked up 3 days into the job. Why so fast? ”I knew we were going to be spending two and a half months together. She’s cute, and passionate about owls, we’re going to be working together at night. I said there’s no use fighting it, I mind as well try to get this going as quick as I can.”, Chris said. Nova laughed. ”I had no idea. He was like, laying on the floor next to the computer, I thought he was just being really friendly, you know. Until one point when I was like, hey, wait a minute…he’s not like this with everybody else!”
Turns out that, before they had met, they had both banded the very same owl at two different field stations – one in Michigan, the other in Minnesota. As if you needed another reminder that there’s someone out there for everyone.