Sunday, July 29, 2012

Animal and Plant Paintings, Part Two

  Here are more of the acrylic animal paintings I've finished.

    I use to surf in high school when I lived in Humboldt. Great White sharks were always a concern because there were often shark spottings. I never saw a shark, Great White or otherwise. One thing that makes Great White Sharks particularly scary is that they can sense just a drop of blood in 25 gallons of water. They can also detect tiny amounts of blood in water three miles away! (A)
 The scariest animals I saw were eels and jellyfish. One time I saw a gigantic dead sting ray being tossed around in the waves. It must have been five feet wide! A couple of days later when I went back to teh beach it had been washed up on shore.

    The spice Saffron is derived from Saffron Crocus. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world! Saffron has long been used for medicinal and healing purposes. Modern research is slowly conforming the long held beliefs about saffron. Studies have shown the saffron may protect against cancer, mutations, and may help retina damage.  (B)

   The Turks Cap Cactus is a mysterious little succulent because even experts don't know what species it belongs to. The 'cap' portion of this cactus is the plants fruit and is even edible, although it does not have much of a taste. (C)

   The Stoat is an adorable little weasel living in North America, Europe and Asia. They have a brown coloring except during the Winter when then transform into all white animals. The Stoat is also known as an Ermine.  (D)

    The Vermilion flycatcher is a bird that lives in the sun soaked landscape of the American Southwest. The male of the species often attempts to impress potential mates by bringing them a butterfly or other fancy and beautiful insect.   (E)

      As the name suggests, this bat has especially long ears. Grey Long-Eared Bats live up to 14.5 years. (F)

    The Portuguese Man of War appears to be a jellyfish, but it is acutally a jelly-like creature, but not a true jellyfish. However, just like many a jellyfish, it has a painful sting! Sometimes these creatures will float in groups of a thousand or more. (G)  

      The meadow Cranesbill is a lovely little flower that often grows in grasslands and along roadsides. Lately, from the car I've seen lots of pretty purple flowers. I haven't been close enough to get a good look at the details of the flower, but maybe they are the meadow cranesbill!  (H)

    The Pietrain Pig is a very popular pig in both Germany and Spain, although the pig was named after a place in Belgium. There are few pure born Pietrain Pigs, at least in England, because the breed is known to have the gene for Porcine Strees Syndrome. (I)

   I see the Flame Skimmer dragon fly a lot during the summer months. Dragonflies date back before the age of dinosaurs! Imagine what the Flame Skimmers ancestors saw. (J)

Where I found my plant and animal facts:
A. National Geographic- Great White Sharks
B. Wikipedia- Saffron
C. Arubaplaza- Turks Cap Cactus
D. The Animal Files- Stoat
E. All About Birds- Vermillion Flycatcher
F. School of Biological Sciences- Grey Long Eared Bat
G. Kid Zone- Portuguese Man Of War
H. Really Wildflowers- Meadow Cransbill
I. British Pigs- Pietrain Pig
J. Bug Squad

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