Every Work of Art has a Story.

Every Story is an Inspiration.

Entries in Animal (2)

Thursday
Jul022015

Roughing it with Puffins


Today I dropped this puffin painting off at it's new forever home with Miss Chelsea. She was so excited to know it was coming that she met me at the door before I had even knocked. Before I had driven the fifteen minute drive back to my house, she was already posting pictures of hanging it on her wall in a prominant spot over her bed. This made my entire week, that something I painted could already bring such joy to a friend who also happens to suffer from a dibilitating disease. So for the next story behind the painting, I thought it fitting that I tell the story of Chelsea's puffins. I hope you enjoy it as much as she did.

 

 Life at Sea

Puffins spend the majority of their lives at sea, only coming to land with their bond mate to dig a burrow into sheer rock cliffs, and breed. They lay and incubate their eggs on the cold rocks, and rear one to two voracious chicks. Even on land, they return to the sea continually, diving to depths of more than one hundred feet, in search of fish to feed themselves and their young.  When the chicks fledge the nest, they do so by literally jumping off a cliff and plunging into the sea. In fact, they spend the first five years of their lives at sea while they learn to dive and hunt the dark waters for themselves. When I think my life is tough, I think of the puffins and take comfort. 

This painting was commissioned by Chelsea Larigey, who suffers from a horribly debilitating disease known as ME or myalgic encephalomyelitis. 100% of the proceeds went to fund research for finding a cure and defining better treatments for ME. For more information on how to help those who suffer from ME/CFS visit solvecfs.org.

If you are interested in more about puffins, or you just want to spy on live ones for a bit, check out Audobon's new spy cam and their alerts from the Atlantic Puffins breeding grounds.

 

Saturday
Mar222014

Baby Otter's First Swim

After years of trying, the NC Zoo finally has an otter pup. This little girl is eight weeks old and apparently, Mom got tired of waiting for her to get in the water. Check out the video footage that was sent to me courtesy of my friends at the zoo. I love how the mother just pushes her into the water. It's time, little lady. Having helped the zoo raise a reluctant swimmer named Amy many years ago, by wading her into the nearby pond and having her literally try to climb inside my clothes to avoid the swim, I can get behind mother otter's technique here. Amy eventually learned to swim as all otter's should. But, since this little girl, who is not yet named, seems to be born to it, perhaps we could have been a little less timid with Amy. Ah, well. Live and learn.

 

 

 

 The pup, who was born on January 15th, now has access to her exhibit with mom, so if you are lucky, you might just see them in person at the NC Zoo.

For those who cannot visit Asheboro in person, you can get regular updates by joining the NC Zoo's facebook page, or by going directly to their website. All the best to baby otter, her parents, and her keepers.