Snowy Owl

By Terry Turrentine
with an essay by Richard Lang and a poem by Mary Oliver
San Francisco, California: White Bird Press, 2013. Edition of 30.

15 color photographs by Terry Turrentine. Letterpress printed. In clamshell box.

Color photographs of a female Snowy Owl with essay by Richard Lang and a poem by Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver.

Terry Turrentine: "After completing an artists’ book on the Great Egret, I was looking for the next species to study, one with a similar combination of beauty, power, and grace. I discovered my next photographic subject: the snowy owl, a solitary species with the strength and courage to survive in a very harsh arctic environment. And who, despite the encroachment of civilization and climate change, is still able to endure.

"I immediately felt the need to document their existence for all time, as they are now an endangered species.

"Snowy owls live at least nine years, are monogamous, and are powerful birds of prey. They hunt in large territories in open tundra from sea level to 1000 feet. Living in Polar Regions around the world, they lay from 3 to 16 white eggs a year depending on their food supply.

"After four years and thousands of miles of travel in Canada and the Arctic, I was fortunate to find a 3-year old solitary female snowy owl in a frozen cornfield in northern Quebec, Canada. I named her Charlotte.

"She flies gracefully and silently in the stark winter environment. Her piercing yellow eyes capture warmth and sunlight and become a focus against the cool blue shadows of the snow. One of the heaviest owls, with a 5-foot wingspan, she still exhibits the graceful gentleness and powerful beauty of the Feminine.

"Since ancient times, the Owl has been regarded as a sacred, mystical being, whose vast mythology expresses strength, beauty, and prophetic vision. In these portraits, I have tried to capture the aura of “my” snowy owl’s mystery…the mystery of life itself. "With deep respect, I thank Charlotte and wish her a long and healthy life."