Life in a slow place that quickly steals your heart.



The Owl looked up to the stars above

I may be athropomorphisizing but this little Great Horned Owl swoops into our garden, finds a perch and sits and enjoys the sunset until it’s too dark for me to photograph her.

These photos were taken in three different sunset sessions in October, November and December in our Naramata yard overlooking Okanagan Lake.

Here is a little poetry to go along with my art… a favourite often recited by my dad…

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea 
   In a beautiful pea-green boat, 
They took some honey, and plenty of money, 
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note. 
The Owl looked up to the stars above, 
   And sang to a small guitar, 
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, 
    What a beautiful Pussy you are, 
         You are, 
         You are! 
What a beautiful Pussy you are!” 

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl! 
   How charmingly sweet you sing! 
O let us be married! too long we have tarried: 
   But what shall we do for a ring?” 
They sailed away, for a year and a day, 
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows 
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood 
   With a ring at the end of his nose, 
             His nose, 
             His nose, 
   With a ring at the end of his nose. 

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling 
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.” 
So they took it away, and were married next day 
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill. 
They dined on mince, and slices of quince, 
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;  
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, 
   They danced by the light of the moon, 
             The moon, 
             The moon, 
They danced by the light of the moon.

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)

A parliament of owls



IMG_2437Soon after moving to the Valley we had the privilege of watching this great horned owl being released on the Kettle Valley Railway near our house. He was cared for by the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls in Oliver (

A year later this fellow took up residence in a tree conveniently next to my office window and spent the day there roosting, blithely ignoring attempts by flocks of song birds to speed him on his way. I don’t think it’s the same owl but he or she is also a great horned.

IMG_3697Owl calls early in the morning and late in the evening are still magical to me.

IMG_3749 Moving from the city to a place with so much wildlife will never become commonplace…not when I glance out my window that evening to see the visitor waking up and getting ready to hunt while inadvertently posing for this photo. He is in a tree in my front yard with the sun setting on the mountains across the lake from us.

IMG_6422Or waking up to find this bold northern pygmy owl defending his prey of another bird in my driveway. I thought he had hit the window and was injured. A set of legs and a part of an undercarriage lay nearby on the ground. I took dozens of photos, changed lenses twice and he still didn’t budge. Once he finally decided I was too close, he flew away and I realized the body parts were all that remained of his quail victim. My owl book says this is a little owl with a big attitude. “It’s bold nature allows people to approach it closely. It catches prey as big as quails and squirrels although it is only 16 to 18 centimetres high.”

Blog at

Up ↑