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California Success Story

Condors are returning! By the summer of 2014 there were 73 California Condors sweeping across the Grand Canyon; the world population declined to 22 in 1987. They were all taken into captivity for several years and after successful breeding were gradually released into the wild. They are the largest birds in North America with a wing span of 9.5 feet and are one of the rarest birds in the world. They may fly 100 miles a day, gliding at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, searching for food.

Condors mate for life at around 6 years of age. They don’t build nests but lay a 5-inch egg on the ground every other year. Both parents take turns caring for the egg which hatches after 56 days and leaves its parents in 5-6 months.

Big problem: Hunters are still using LEAD bullets which end up in the vulture’s food: dead animal carcasses. There is a movement out to stop hunters from using lead bullets but some don’t listen. . .

The Condor Returns

Return of the Condor

Condors are returning! By the summer of 2014 there were 73 California Condors sweeping across the Grand Canyon; the world population declined to 22 in 1987.   They were all taken into captivity for several years and after successful  breeding were gradually released into the wild.  They are the largest birds in North America with a wing span of 9.5 feet and are one of the rarest birds in the world. They may fly 100 miles a day, gliding at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, searching for food.
Condors mate for life at around 6 years of age. They don’t build nests but lay a 5-inch egg on the ground every other year. Both parents take turns caring for the egg which hatches after 56 days and leaves its parents in 5-6 months.
Big problem: Hunters are still using LEAD bullets which end up in the vultures food: dead animal carcasses. There is a movement out to stop hunters from using lead bullets but some don’t listen. . .

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea

On her first trip to New York City, my daughter Whitney fell in love with a painting of a pink rhino being sold on the street. She always regretted not buying it. So there was my motivation. . .
I painted a rhino, not pink but blue. In fact, the blue of William, the hippopotamus mascot of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Both are endangered. . but I felt the rhinos are especiallly targeted because of their horns. They are not magical; they are made out of fingernail material. . .but the superstitution is out there that the horn can cure almost everything.

P.S.  Sweet Pea was in the Three Chicks Exhibition at ASU Gammage.  A mother in Colorado Springs saw a video of the show.  Her little boy, Max, loves rhinoceros.  In fact, his favorite toy  was a stuffed rhinoceros his grandmother bought him before he was born.

His mother asked me to paint “Nino” for her Max.

And Max loves his painting!

Up next…”Nino”

Under the Mogollon Rim

Under the Mogollon Rim

We have a cabin in Pine, Arizona, our year-around get-a-way. It is nestled in beautiful Pondorosa Pines, indeed underneath the Mogollon Rim which stretches across most of Northern Arizona.  The ridge that I painted is directly across from our cabin and is a finger of the main Rim. The orange cabin (orange of course) is ours. The other two belong to good friends. . .their grey cabins are a good counterpoint to ours.  We all have great views of the Fall elk migrations and the small white-tail deer that make our forest their home.

This painting was juried into the 2014 Arizona State Fair.

Juanita

Juanita

When my two friends, Jewel Conway and Marnelle North, formed the Three Chicks to participate in group show, like a three-woman exhibition at ASU Gammage in 2013, I painted Juanita, named for my grandmother. She’s not for sale but her image is, on cards.

Noah's Yak

Noah’s Yak

Noah’s Yak: My grandson Axel (he changed his name) said his favorite animal was a Yak.  I did some research and found out that yaks are being raised in Colorado where Axel lives. My yak stands in the brilliant light of the Colorado mountains.  No, its not called Axel’s yak.  Noah/Axel changed his name after I had his painting on my website and had printed cards with the image.  So it remains, Noah’s Yak.

 

The Peaceful Desert

The Peaceful Desert

Lets  start with Tuesday, the Alligator.  She had a  long life in Phoenix as a resident of the Phoenix Herpetological Society, meeting with over 300,000 school children as part of a campaign to increase awareness and  understanding of reptiles. She started life in a private home in California; her owner said she thought she was a dog!  She liked to be petted and to take car rides.  But by the time she had reached her full growth of 6 feet and 95 pounds, her owner decided she needed a new home. Tuesday was to go to an alligator farm where her owner could visit but on the way to the farm, the truck carrying Tuesday and 31 other alligators, illegally it turned out, was stopped by the Arizona Highway Patrol for a broken tail light and all  the alligators ended up in the herpetology society facility.  From there, Tuesday became a favorite, traveling to schools and public events for educational events.  She died of an unknown illness that the best alligator vets could not cure.  Her legacy is a scholarship  for children with disabilities like autism or visual problems.

Next, the endangered Chiricahua Leopard Frog  who lives in the small ponds and rivers of southeastern Arizona , and has lost approximately 80 percent of its habitat.  On top of that, the frog suffers from a skin fungus.  The fungus is spread when hunters and fishermen tramp between rivers and ponds, carrying the fungus spores with them, infecting  new waters. There are efforts to save the little frog however.  Arizona Game and Fish and the Phoenix Zoo have breeding  and pond cleaning programs that will  bring back the frogs.

The small Ringtail Cat with the black and white stripped bushy tail is Arizona’s state mammal. The tail is the same length as the body of  the mammal. Ringtails are nocturnal, coming out of their den at night to eat small mammels and fruit. And a den can be any dark hole.. A friend was sliding into her sleeping bag at the bottom of the Grand Canyon when two Ringtails hurried out! She’s not a fan!

Thirteen of the 36 species of rattlesnakes in the world live in Arizona but don’t worry.  Only about 1 percent of rattleback bites end in death; rattlesnakes don’t come after you unless you disturb them. Arizona’s reptile is the Ridgenosed Rattlesnake, so named because of the raised ridge of scales around its mouth.  It is one of four with special protection in Arizona.

The Albert or Ponderosa Pine squirrel is one of the five species of desert squirrels in Arizona. This tassel-eared  tree  squirrel was named after Colonel John James Albert, a naturalist and military colonel who organized  efforts to map the West. The Albert’s squirrels live in Ponderosa pine forests and eat the seeds and  inner bark of the trees.

 

Calder's Clever Companions

Who’s on First?

I am working on animal paintings for all my grandchildren.  Calder likes monkeys.  It wasn’t until my daughter Whitney suggested I paint Spider Monkeys that I got inspired.  So many monkey’s have a sad look about them.  The active Spider Monkeys seemed to be having a great time together, just as my grandson does with his brothers and friends.

“Who’s on First” was juried into the 2014 “Animals” exhibition at the West Valley Arts Council, Surprise, Arizona, January, 2014.  It was also displayed at the Arizona Art Alliance gallery holiday exhibition, 2013 and 2014.