Luca Martinez. Last Light of Dusk.

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Taking in the last light of dusk, this barred owl's silent flight complements the stillness of the night on an empty road.

I had the privilege of photographing this owl and her mate every week, for more than a year. They lived in a cypress forest in Everglades National Park just above a culvert. I watched as they took care and let go of their nestlings, surveyed the prairie for food, and listened as they called. Maybe it was the way she’d bask in the glow of the sunset that drew me to her or how she’d fly from the cypress, her wings quietly cutting through the mist. I was drawn to her silence and stealth, perhaps the very thing that killed her.

This was her final showing just before a fatal car collision. Stories like hers are much too common for wildlife in the Everglades as we’ve constructed roads through their habitat and foraging grounds. Barred owls are particularly vulnerable as they tend to silently hunt at the same height as vehicles.

I remember the way she would glide. So still you’d think she wasn't moving at all. This image is a reminder to always appreciate the tranquility of each passing moment.

Luca Martinez is a nature and wildlife photographer and videographer from Miami, FL. It was likely destined, as Luca wanted to be outside from sunrise to sunset when he was a little boy. Through his videos and photography Luca captures not just the beauty of the Everglades and our wild places but also shares the threats and demonstrates their impact on our ecosystems.

Follow Luca on Instagram @lucamartinez.fl.

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