Ready for the Hunt - Snowy Owl
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24" x 38", acrylic on board, 1974

Dawn and dusk are the most active times in the world of nature. This is when most feeding takes place and when predators are most likely to find their prey. Snowy owls move south in winter because the shorter days and deeper snow in the north make finding food much more difficult. They seldom go further soth than the area of winter snow.
This part of southern Canada and the northern U.S. which has open farmland is the ideal hunting ground for the white visitor. The prime target is the meadow vole, or field mouse. This is the little fellow that criss-crosses fields and pastures with tunnels under the snow. Whenever he appears at the surface, his dark body is immediately seen. The snowy owl can see well in dim light and in full daylight, and the mouse is equally active day or night.
The owl I have shown is perched on an old cedar post. I enjoy the way the elements work on the installations of our pioneer forefathers. On some long forgotten day, the farmer placed that post and subsequently put in the nails and staples. The reason is no longer evident, but for the owl it doesn't matter. The post is a perfect place from which to begin his hunt.