Canadian WildlifeJune 24, 2020
We Canadians love our wildlife and the proof is in the pudding. Majestic, iconic and awe-inspiring, our ‘Oh Canada!’ gallery is swelling with extraordinary submissions alongside some wonderful stories. As ever, it’s been a challenge choosing which ones to feature. We’d like to thank everyone who’s contributed so far and we can’t wait to explore more of your work and insight over the coming weeks.
Wanda Fraser – Cougar
When I think of this majestic cat I think of Canada. There are only an estimated 4000 left in our country and of these, 3500 live in B.C. A quarter of those are on Vancouver Island – the highest concentration of cougars in the world. These cats can jump 5.5 meters from the ground and sprint an average of 56 kilometres per hour! They can kill an animal four times their size and have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years in the wild. What an amazing creature!
Louise Nicholson – Fish Tale
My love affair with the brown bear continues. This time, after all the swimming and dunking, he gets his just reward. There is a perfect relationship between the bear, salmon, and our land. Bear scat containing waste products from salmon puts valuable nitrogen into soil far from the water source. Uneaten bits feed countless other birds and scavengers.
Tanya McMichael – Our Eagle
One year while out for our traditional Christmas morning drive, we found a juvenile eagle stuck in deep snow, unable to take flight. Her tail feathers were tattered and damaged; balls of ice clung to them. We wrapped her in a blanket and went to meet Gerry Powers, a man who rescues birds of prey and takes them to OWL rehab.
The eagle sat on my lap in the cab of the truck for the 30 min journey. I don’t remember at what point I did the math and realized that if she got loose with a six foot wingspan, razor talons and sharp beak, we would be in trouble….
She spent 4 months at OWL regaining strength. We were lucky to be present the day she was released back into the wild, in the area we had originally found her. Flying to a nearby tree she looked down, studying us for about five minutes before soaring off and meeting with other eagles nearby. We watched them all circling above us. Today, “our” bird’s head would be white and when I drive by the place we last saw her and see a mature eagle, I always wonder if it’s “our eagle”
Robin Hoffos – Dark Presence
As a former biologist I am deeply connected to nature and use art as a communication tool, celebrating the diversity, beauty and wonder of wildlife in Canada. This piece is entitled “Dark Presence”, representing the dual image of wolves as both beautiful animals and ominous predators. I created this painting based on an image from a colleague who had collared this wolf. The painting is as much about the unique shadows on snow created by the surrounding trees as it is about the foreboding presence of the wolf.
Elijah Amendt – Rabbit
I have always loved rabbits. I decided to do a piece based on a rabbit I have seen many times recently. I took a picture and used oil pastels to draw it. I’m eleven and this is my second time ever using oil pastels, although I have used chalk pastels and many other mediums. I mostly like to do art with pencils but this time I decided to try something new.
This is a huge piece I have been working on since Covid. I’ve been thinking a lot about how precious our Canadian wildlife is – the fragility of the cycles of whales and the chinook salmon they depend on.
Kathy Bradshaw – Bison
It’s incredibly exciting to see the bison making a comeback through protected herds in Canada’s conservation areas, national parks and our very own Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatchewan. Nearly decimated at one point, they are beginning to thrive again, demonstrating a resilience unparalleled among Canada’s wildlife species.
It’s such a pleasure seeing all your art and reading about your creative inspirations. As we near the halfway point of our ‘Oh Canada! Virtual Art Tour’, we couldn’t be happier with how the gallery’s looking. What an incredible artistic community we have! Please, keep sharing your work and stories. Let’s see how much ground we can cover.