Poem by Brian Nerney
Photographs by Regan Golden-McNerney,
The images were originally taken at the Harold Arts Residency in 2008.
Excerpt from the Introduction:
I learned from my dad how to spot an owl: mid-afternoon asleep in the pines beside my house in Iowa, on a snowy peer at the edge of Lake Michigan and soaring above a rail yard in downtown Minneapolis. They make their appearance in Midwestern cities in the middle of winter to feast on mice and backyard birds.
A few years back heavy snows in Canada sent thousands of Great Gray Owls south into Minnesota. During a single afternoon my dad saw dozens of owls in Aiken County, atop trees in parks, farm yards and on the sides of county roads. That remarkable experience inspired his poem, “Owls and Voles.”
On a muggy hot morning the following July, I found myself at the Harold Arts Residency in southeast Ohio staring out the window of my studio at a plaster owl perched atop a stump. I decided to photograph the fake plaster owl over the course of the day and was stunned to see it transformed by the light into a luminous statue of a majestic bird facing down the impending shadows.