Screaming Heads

You won’t find any signs directing you to the location.

In fact you won’t even find any signs to confirm that you’ve arrived.  We had to trust the GPS that we had ‘found’ it … somewhere behind the wall of trees.

“It” is the home and multi-acre property of artist Peter Camani in Burk’s Falls – about a 3 hour drive north of Toronto.  Camani has transformed his property into a gallery of his art work – massive concrete sculptures rising out of the landscape.

Screaming Heads 8The public is allowed to walk around the property – without charge – to explore the massive structures.  A donation box is located by the entrance/exit if you should wish to express your appreciation.

We visited on a cool but sunny day to discover a frisbee-golf tournament in play.  We were equally fascinated by the disc play as we were by the sculptures themselves.

Screaming Heads 6
Each golfer carried or pulled a bag containing their discs of various sizes and weight distribution. Each disc has a different purpose, much like the clubs in a traditional golfer’s bag. Discs often have the owner’s name / email address on them since, like golf balls, they can be lost or misidentified during play. 

The tournament organizers were given permission to use the Screaming Heads property for an annual tournament and this year was their 10th anniversary at this location.

I was told it’s a very popular venue and the tournament sells out each year.

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Gilles accompanied me on this trip and we picked our way carefully around the fields trying to stay out of the way of the competitors – mindful of the occasional shouts of “FORE!”.

Screaming Heads

Since this place seems to be known only by word-of-mouth, you might be wondering how I learned about the Screaming Heads.

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That blue basket hanging in the distance is a ‘goal’.

A few weeks ago BlogTO had an article describing the venue and I was intrigued enough to make the 3 hour drive to see it for myself.

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It was totally worth it.

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Thanks Gilles for taking my photo!!

The highlight of the day though involved neither screaming head or disc golf.  As we rounded a bend on the small country road, we encountered a moose, with a full set of antlers, trotting down the road at a brisk clip.

As I fumbled for my camera hoping to capture it, he turned onto another smaller road.  Although we were, at most, only a couple of car lengths behind him, he had disappeared.

I failed as a paparazzi.  Again.

 

89 comments

  1. Great photos of the sculptures! I have seen quite a few moose in my life. My early childhood home was built on one of the paths that the local moose liked to take down to the river, and we would watch them from the window as they foraged for cabbages and such in our snow covered vegetable garden. But the most memorable sighting was more recent. I was on the telephone doing an interview with a representative from an academic search firm when a cow moose with three calves trotted down the road right in front of my house. It was a moment of contrast.

    Jude

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    • Wow!! You had National Geographic right outside your window!!
      There are certain animals – like deer and rabbits – that no matter how many times I may see one, it’s a thrill each time. I would put moose in that category too even though I haven’t seen many in my life.

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  2. Fascinating sculptures. I like the roughness of the texture of the stone. I definitely favor seeing sculptures outdoors. The play of the artwork against the colors and changing landscape is so much more interesting than if the same sculptures were indoors!

    Peta

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    • Agreed! Although it’s said that the most beautiful time to visit is in the fall with all the colours, I’d love to revisit in the winter. I imagine that the sculptures in the backdrop of a stark snowy landscape would be quite striking. Too bad it’s so far away. I’m not a huge fan of long distance winter driving.

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  3. What a bizarre place. I love eccentric things like this. If you are ever driving through Vermont there is a place for for the Bread and Puppet theater troupe you can visit for free too.

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  4. You have some very interesting places in your part of the world!
    Disc golf is very popular in Arizona, so when we are there in the winter we watch for tournaments near us. What I love most about it, is the extreme variety of people who take part in the tournaments. Tall, short, thin, not so thin, young and not so young. The best player can be the person who looks least likely to be an athlete. Yet it takes a lot of effort and stamina!

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    • If the tournament we witnessed is any indication, I can see where the effort comes in – traipsing over all kinds of terrain and searching for the disc that isn’t where you thought it was going to be … and not a golf cart in sight 😉

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  5. What a cool place and so nice that it’s open to the public. The dinosaur in the background of one of your pictures of the disc player cracked me up. What a sight! Not something you see every day. I’m glad you made the trip out there, though too bad about the moose!

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  6. I had no idea that frisbee golf was so organized and exacting. The sculptures are amazing and the fact that it is open to the public is even more amazing. I’m so excited that you saw a moose! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in the wild. I forgive you for not having your camera ready (I’m sad, but I forgive you). Great picture of you framed by the scream.

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    • I had no idea either!! This is serious stuff. I did a quick calculation to estimate that each golfer’s bag contains a few hundred dollars in gear. That’s territory that rivals regular golf.

      My moose sightings have been very few – and I grew up in the north!! Each time I’ve been ridiculously excited and especially this one because I had never seen one with its antlers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You feature so many wonderful outdoor sculptures that I’ve developed a great appreciation for them.

      I had heard of frisbee golf, but I thought it was a bit of a lark. I had no idea it was a serious, organized sport.

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  7. It looks like a wonderful place to wander. I’m glad people are allowed free access, and how nice to make it available for the tournament. It sounds like a good day, all around. It’s hard to imagine how an animal as big as a moose can be nimble, but I guess that’s their special gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect the best time to go is when the colours are near maximum. The drive itself would be beautiful in the autumn colours.
      I checked the ‘forecast’ and they are predicting it will be around Thanksgiving for the reds and another week for the yellows in the Huntsville area. I of course preferred not to wait 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A place you probably wouldn’t want to wander into at night! probably end up wit screaming nightmares! As for Frisbee golf – never even heard of it! But it looks like it could be a lot of fun if you have good hand – eye coordination 🙂

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    • I was thinking it would be a great place for a Hallowe’en scavenger hunt … although you would never catch me at one 😉

      As for frisbee-golf, I’m pretty sure I would be worse that horrible at it. I’m hopelessly useless at trying to throw a frisbee.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, what a wonderful sculpture garden! Those off the grid spots are often the best finds. We were disappointed that we never saw a moose on any of our Canadian trips. We did see a bear on the Trans Canadian Hwy. it just crossed the street in front of us. Of course the camera was in the back seat. (sigh)

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    • As a blogger whose posts revolve around photos, it never ceases to surprise me how dysfunctional I am about having my camera close at hand!!
      The truth is that although I grew up in the North and still make trips back there, I’ve only seen a moose a handful of times … and each time it thrills me!

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  10. Great post Joanne. This is a place I heard of recently and am hoping to put on my list to visit next year. But as you say, it is a fair distance from Toronto. Regarding the disc golf, I saw some people playing it on Toronto Island last year and it looked like a lot of fun.

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  11. Hi, Joanne – I wish that I had followed your blog when I lived in the Toronto area. You cover many cool places in your local area that I would love to wonder through. I have added “Screaming Heads” to my list of places to visit when I am out that way again!

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    • Admittedly, a 3 hour drive is a little far for a day trip but it was a beautiful day and we hadn’t had much of an opportunity to spend time together for the past several months.

      I can only imagine the stuff I could find to do in your area!!

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  12. Now, those are some interesting sculptures. And, you at least saw a moose up close and personal – that counts in my book. 🙂 We have a small park not far from us that has frisbee golf, and the place is packed especially on the weekends. When my daughter was little, I could hardly pass a frisbee to her let alone be able to play golf with one. 🙂

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    • I too am useless with a frisbee. I’m sure it’s a lot of fun if you master the art of it, but I’ve resigned myself to the sidelines 😉

      As for the moose … what an unexpected delight!! I’m not a stranger to the north, but I’ve seen a moose only a handful of times in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s a 4.5 hour drive from Ottawa. Hmm. Might have to be a post-retirement drive but you’re right – it looks fascinating. You were definitely in moose-country! The only place I’ve ever seen moose is in Algonquin Park in the spring and they are impressive critters. A nice way for you to cap your trip to see the sculptures – man made and natural wonders together.

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    • I knew the sport existed but I had no idea it was so organized. There is even a Disc Golf Association … I don’t know why I was surprised to learn that 🙂

      Never having seen another tournament in play, I have no idea how difficult the courses can be, but I suspect this one might be considered ‘challenging’.

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  14. Wow, looks like you had a magical unicorn day. So much uniqueness in that one spot. And a moose to top everything off. I love to visit off-the-wall, out-of-the-way places like that. And I really like the screaming heads.

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    • That’s a great way of putting it, Tippy. It WAS a GREAT unicorn day!

      I try to keep my expectations in check whenever I visit something billed as “unusual” and “must-see”. I was particularly nervous about this one because I was dragging my husband along who doesn’t normally come with me on these excursions and we were investing in a 3 hour drive – one way – to get there.

      Thankfully it was everything I could ask for and more!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What an interesting place, I think I would have enjoyed the extra curricular activity as well. I have seen frisbee as sport but not as competition. Too bad you missed capturing the moose.

    When Rick and I were traveling Route 66, we planned a visit to Cadillac Ranch…where a bunch of half buried vintage Cadillac’s were on a rancher’s property in the middle of nowhere…visitors were encouraged to bring can’s of spray paint, which we did! Great photo op and fun to tag something and not get in trouble for it.

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    • I agree, Tish … and I might be wrong, but my understanding is that the donations collected are funnelled back to local charities.

      There are signs saying that access is at your own risk, there are no facilities, and please pick up all your litter including cigarette butts (I’ve never understood people who walk out in nature and leave their butts behind!!)

      I hope that his good-spirited generosity isn’t someday taken advantage of and he feels the need to close access.

      Liked by 1 person

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