A great horned owl peers from amongst the white oak foliage - perhaps getting ready to settle down to rest after a night's hunting.
My thanks to Jennie Norris at www.pmp-art.com for the reference photograph of the owl.
Widely distributed in the Americas, the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is also known as the tiger owl or hoot owl. It is the second heaviest owl in North America, after the snowy owl, and its well-camouflaged plumage varies considerably across its range.
The large, powerful talons are capable of exerting 300 pounds of pressure per square inch.
Those tufts of feathers that give rise to the species' name are thought to be used to give visual cues when interacting with other owls.
This original pencil drawing by Elaine Jones was made with Faber Castell Polychromos, Caran d'Ache Pablo and Luminance pencils on Clairefontaine Pastelmat paper.
Image measures approximately 14.5" x 11.5", unframed.