Friday, 15 August 2014

Animals of the Alphabet A to D

Back in May, I joined an Animals of the Alphabet swap project on . So far, we are up to G, and I've been enjoying some pretty exciting returns from around the world, including cards from England, New Zealand, and United States! For each swap, I draw four animals that start with the assigned letter, and receive three in return from different artists (the fourth card is a gift for the host).

Here are a few of the animals that I have drawn for A to D.

A is for Andean Short Faced Bear by smallgirl
Watercolour pencils on bamboo paper
The Andean Short Faced Bear, also known as the Spectacled Bear, is a small bear that lives in South America

B is for Black Bear by smallgirl
Watercolour pencils on bamboo paper
The black bear is a familiar sight here on the West Coast, but can be found throughout much of North America.

C is for Cuban tody by smallgirl
Watercolour pencils on textured paper
The Cuban tody is a small insect eating bird that lives in Cuba.
D is for Dall's porpoise by smallgirl
Watercolour pencils on textured paper
The Dall's porpoise is another familar West Coast creature that frequents our waters. Appallingly, this intelligent dolphin relative is slaughtered for food in Japan.

I will continue to post about this project, as well as some of my returns. In the meantime, if you like animals, check out my youngest cousin's new blog, CRAZY AMAZING ANIMALS!!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

West Coast Creature Feature-The Curious Whiskey Jack

Adult whiskey jack by smallgirl
Juvenile whiskey jack by smallgirl
Also known as the Canada Jay or Gray Jay, the Whiskey Jack is a friendly mountain corvid that I frequently encounter while hiking on the local mountains. There are many subspecies spread across North America; the one pictured here is  the West Coast subspecies, P. c. griseus, found in southwestern BC and Vancouver Island, and parts of Coastal Washington and Oregon and mountains in Californa. They mate for life and usually have an assistant/helper bird while caring for hatchlings.

A friendly whiskey jack consuming seeds
These medium sized gray birds are curious and friendly. They have many nicknames, including camprobber, meat-bird, and lumberjack, due to their tendency to try to take food, or willingly accept food, from humans. They cache their food and retrieve it from memory. Foods include: insects, seeds, carrion, fruit, occasionally small birds/mammals. They also rob nests.

About the feeding photo...I have very strong mixed feelings about feeding wildlife. I am absolutely against feeding wild mammals (safety for the animals and the people), but I have read credible research supporting backyard bird feeders with appropriate seeds. Obviously me feeding seeds to this whiskey jack by hand in a wild space where there is food readily available does not qualify as backyard bird feeding. In this photo, I am continuing to contribute to this bird's habituation to humans (it is at a very well-attended alpine lake). Will this action make the bird forget its evolved instincts? Will this action help the bird cache more food for the winter? I don't know the answers, but I (selfishly?) cherish the moments when I can bond with a wild thing.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Teddy Forest Returns!

It has nearly been a year since my last visit to Teddy Forest I have been very busy with working, a bit of gardening,  a lot of ATC making, and playing in the forest. However, now bears and I are back to share the fun with you!

The Monthly West Coast Creature Feature will return shortly, but the Weekly Bear has been put on hold.

I hosted a Bear Swap - Beautiful Bears of the World on and am currently working on an Animals of the Alphabet project (currently on G).

Swap Gallery for the Bear Swap:

ATCs by smallgirl, blueeyedlady76, deer blossom, Marryth, crisbear, GwennieJo, ferretgirl,  Jewels,  Tandy, donnacr, Sarnie, Elena, and spineofafish.
Cards were from Canada, USA, England, and Indonesia