As a big hockey fan, Melonie Eva believes the 100 Mile Wrangler’s secret bid art auction was a fantastic way for her to support her local team.
A well-regarded professional wildlife photographer, Eva donated three pictures to the auction that she has captured over the year. Eva said she hopes her work will give the community a sense of freedom and travel, which has been lacking during the pandemic.
Canis Majoris is a photo of a wolf that Eva captured between the 108 Mile Ranch and Lac La Hache on a dirt road. Eva said a trio of wolves ran in front of her car before she even had her camera out before a younger member emerged to study her, giving her the chance to photograph him.
“That was very exciting for me because these are the first wolves I’ve seen since arriving in British Columbia. It was so nice to see them so close to my home in the 108,” Eva said.
She took Dancing in Happiness in Alberta on the way to Drumheller, which depicts a field of sunflowers. It reminded her of the acres of sunflower fields she’s seen in Africa.
Big Sky Country meanwhile is a picture she took travelling through Wyoming of the Teton Mountain Range, which she feels really resonates with British Columbians. She’d wanted to donate a picture of the Rocky Mountains but didn’t have a suitable piece available.
She’s hopeful people will bid on her pictures and that the money raised will help fund a home game soon.
Eva, who runs her own company Eva Safaris, said she never expected to make a living off photography but since 2004 it has been her passion and career.
“I love being out in the bush. Just being out all alone on the road, sitting in hides waiting for the right shot. I’ve sat three weeks in a hide waiting for a leopard to emerge or months waiting for elephants to come through,” Eva said. “It’s the anticipation and the challenge of always wanting to get a better shot.”
Having grown up in Zimbabwe, Eva is familiar with Africa and its animals, many of which are featured in her photos. Since settling in 108 Mile, she’s enjoyed exploring the wildlife and beauty of the South Cariboo especially since COVID hit. Eva likes taking little day trips whenever she can to look for wolves, moose and other animals.
Canis Majoris is displayed at Gustafson’s Central GM, Dancing in Happiness is at Sunrise Ford and Big Sky Country is at the RBC. All are valued at $1,800 individually.
Other artwork up for bid is displayed at CIBC, the Credit Union, the Sugar Shack, Cariboo Floor Design, Pharmasave, Uptown Brewing, 70 Mile General Store, Days Inn, Andre’s Electronics, Regency Chrysler, Western Financial and the 100 Mile Free Press. It can also be viewed on the Wranglers’ Facebook page.
The auction is slated to end on March 31.