Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What a Summer!

It has been a busy summer with lots of opportunities to enjoy nature and wildlife. Cold and rainy or hot and windy...It has been fun and my camera has been out.

We had a great trip to observe Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep above Banff. Most exciting to see were the newborn Bighorn sheep.They are the cutest and most agile babies. They nimbly scamper up and down the rock faces and then abruptly just plop down anywhere to rest. Their mothers look haggard and untidy with their winter wool falling out. In the time we had we were unable to locate the male herd.

sheep photo

sheep photo

Then it was off to the game farm in Kamloops to paint a portrait of Shardik, their 36 year old grizzly. The game farm is known for its work in protecting and preserving British Columbia wildlife. Their animals are all rescued animals that could not survive in the wilderness. It was an experience to sit out side Shardik's pen and really observe him, (something that is difficult and perhaps dangerous  :)  to try in the wild.) Grizzlies normally live to about 25 years, so Shardik has reached a grand old age. I wanted to paint him this time rather than the 2 new grizzly cubs that have just arrived as he has been an important part of the bear experience at the park for so many years.

Shardik photo

August is a great time to head to Vancouver island and the ocean. Whales, seals and otters are what I am on the look out for while my husband has his eyes on the water for salmon and halibut. It was a good trip with wonderful friends. We were fortunate enough to have a wonderful whale display close to our boat. The huge creature breached 5 times before turning on his side and waving his fin at us. It was an incredible experience to be so close. It happened too quickly to get any great photos but here is a friendly suntanning seal that agreed to stay put long enough for a photo.

island photo

Shardik the grizzly and my cougar painting are getting close to being complete, just a few more details. While I should be focused completing those two, a new painting is calling my name. A dainty fawn with lovely eyes is begging to be starting that painting now.
Pictures to be posted as soon as they are complete.