To me “Claudette” radiates beauty and intelligence. If you take the time to really look at her you’ll see that there’s a certain calming grace in her gaze. Forget the stereotype. I pass a farm on my way to work where a few souls sort of like Claudette live. I always look for them. Sometimes I even get to see the sweet little ones. I find them running all over the place… in this field or that. Once there was a mom and her piglets on the side of the road on their way to someplace special. I stopped the car, anxiously fumbling for my iPod, hoping to get a really great shot… and I kid you not…I must have caught her off guard because she actually did a triple-take. It was priceless. Her reaction couldn’t have been more human. Realizing she wasn’t alone and having a litter to care for she ran for a safer field knowing her little ones would scurry behind.
Being a vegetarian, I have to look at the world through rose-colored glasses sometimes. With a need to appreciate the moment I had to forget the obvious. Why this particular momma was there and the fate of her babes was a reality I had to try to put in the back of my mind temporarily. Very temporarily. I suppose this particular pig and her piglets were “lucky” to have lived on a farm in the country where they were free to roam instead of the appalling conditions of commercial pig farms. But in reality, their fate is determined by the farmer.
This is partly the reason for my particular chosen art form. Human, Animal… Animal, Human… we have more in common than most people want to believe.
This is “Chadwick.” It’s a Celtic name meaning “warrior.” Chadwick fights for the rights of others like him. Others who don’t have a voice. If you ever see Chadwick on your travels, know he’s a force to be reckoned with.
According to statistics provided from actual sales of hunting permits, almost 2100 cougars are still being killed each year. This figure does not include all the cougars killed by hunters who do not buy licenses nor report their kills.
I live in rural Pennsylvania where cougars or “mountain lions” are almost akin to the fantastical unicorn. There have been numerous sightings of these gorgeous and secretive creatures but it seems there is a real resistance from the Game Commission to actually admit they are among us. The eastern cougar was thought to be extinct.
My husband was a skeptic. He felt perhaps those sightings were simply people seeing something else and, for many reasons, were convinced they had seen a mountain lion. The mind does tend to play tricks sometimes. Did you notice I said my husband “was” a skeptic?
One morning on his way to work through our rural backwoods, he saw a creature leap across the road unlike anything he had ever seen before. Now I must state my husband is the genius, “science rules” kind of guy. It’s all about the facts ma’am. Something was running through the woods towards the road. My husband stopped as it ran in front of the truck. With tail outstretched it leaped across the road and on through a portion of fallen, timbered woods. He continued to watch as it flew from sight. He was close enough to know what it wasn’t… it wasn’t a deer, a coyote, fox, a dog or a house cat. It wasn’t a bobcat which he had seen many times before in the wild. The size of the cat and power of its muscular structure was mind-blowing. The coloring was undeniable. A cougar has been seen. And I, for one, am a believer.
He’s “The Woodworker”… and he’s a natural.
Beavers are extraordinary creatures. They mate for life; they are brilliant architects; and both the male and female share the raising of their young. Unfortunately, they are targeted and brutally trapped for their fur and a substance from their oil glands which is used in perfume.
The fellow above is in his favorite place. It’s where he feels at home and safe. On this warm, sunny morning he chooses to use tools other than his teeth.