Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Stumbled across some Owls.

As I continue to paint and gather work and prep it for my fall sale at Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival, I stumbled across some owl sketches I hadn't seen in a while. Several years ago, Kay and Larry McKeever, founders of The Owl Foundation in Ontario, Canada, hired my husband to build a bedroom suite addition (with a small owl cage in it of course). It is then, that I received the rare opportunity and privilege to observe and draw over a dozen owls in their giant natural habitat cages...and to literally walk down the same path as Robert Bateman (sponsor of the rehab and long time friend of the McKeevers). I took my time, with sketchbook in hand, meandering along that boardwalk in Jordan, surrounded by lush trees, the unusual sounds of the owls and quite lost in quietude. It reminds me to make moments like surround oneself with the beauty of creation. 
Time for a walk. . . And I think I will add a couple of these to my show. 

"Great Gray Owl" Lorenda Harder

"Curious Owl"  Lorenda Harder

"Snowy Owl"   Lorenda Harder


  1. ".....the unusual sounds of the owls....."
    A hoot is the only owlish sound I am familiar with.
    Did you hear any others when you were walking along that Jordan boardwalk, Lori?
    If so, can you describe them?
    PhiL {'•_•'}

  2. I remember how each kind of owl had its own signature hoot, screech or whatever. Found this page about it- pretty fascinating creatures!

  3. On my iBird Canada app, I have just listened to the calls of the owls profiled in the aforementioned page.
    Wow! Your point is well taken, Lori.
    Not only do these owls possess their own distinctive calls.....
    But the Great Maker has endowed each breed with the ability to articulate multiple sounds that are as varied as they are enchanting!

    I'll never forget one time when Jackie and I were hiking on the Booth's Rock Trail in Algonquin Provincial Park.
    From a high ridge overlooking Rock Lake, we had watched spellbound as the sun set over the Western Uplands.
    Then, as twilight deepened into night, we got out our flashlights and began our descent back down off the ridge.
    Suddenly a shrill, blood-curdling shriek pierced the still night air of that dark woods.
    It sounded so human, Lori!
    Jackie and I froze in our tracks.
    We shone our flashlights in the direction of the sound, but couldn't see anything but tall, sinister-looking trees.
    And the silence was deafening.
    Then, after several tense seconds: "Hoo hoo hoo-ooh hoo."

    Then it dawned on us what had happened:
    A rabbit had been nabbed in the darkness of the woods by an owl, and the piercing shriek was the rabbit's death cries.

    Needless to say, that aural encounter left an indelible impression on both of us.


  4. Thank you for sharing your story!