While looking at a timber sale last week with a fellow forester, we walked past this big northern Pacific rattlesnake. His dog walked within inches in front of the rattlesnake and it buzzed like crazy. The dog didn’t react to the snake at all. That’s probably why the snake didn’t strike the dog. I took the picture and video with my cell phone so it’s not the greatest quality. Be careful if you hear this sound.
Blaze rode with me for years. She loved to go to work and hated to be left at home. When I would go into my office in the morning she would find the highest point on the truck and intently watch the backdoor impatiently. She would wait for me to come out so I could take her to the woods. If she could have driven the truck herself she would have, and I would have been left behind.
She was a tremendous AKC Hunt Test competitor and loved to work. I painted this of her when she was actively running events. She would sit in the yard and stare at me refusing to come in until I would come out and train her. In this watercolor I was trying to capture her intensity and joy of the hunt.
Pacific fisher in pen and ink. Mary and I had a chance meeting with a pair of fishers. That’s when I took the photo that this picture was based on. We watched this fisher as it climbed up and down a Douglas-fir tree while it was hunting.
The Pacific fisher is a large member of the weasel family that makes its home on our California timberland.
This was a different Pacific fisher that unknowingly visited us. Observing wildlife from a hidden hunting blind is a great way to watch animals in their natural state.
The fisher investigates our wildlife camera. Come on little fella just a bit farther. Darn, we didn’t get his picture on the wildlife camera.
The company I work for, Sierra Pacific Industries, has been involved in a fisher relocation project for a number of years. Our partners in the project include US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and researchers from North Carolina State University. The purpose is to re-establish fisher into parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that used to be their historic range. The project has been highly successful. You can read more about the project here at the Fish and Wildlife Service website.
“Dreaming of the Night”, pen and ink of Kowanni the great horned owl.
Kowanni, as it turns out is female. She’s about twenty-one years old according to her handler Hollianne. She came to Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation after suffering a permanent wing injury from being electrocuted on a utility pole. She’s been with Hollianne for about two years as she has outlived her original handler. Not only is she an animal ambassador she’s also a foster-mother. When SWRR get great horned owl chicks brought in they are placed with Kowanni and an old male owl named Captain to be raised. Less human contact with the youngsters make them easier to return to the wild. Many of the rescued animals live at home with their handlers for the rest of their lives if they are unable to return to the wild. It’s a beautiful ministry they do for their animal charges.
Kowanni and Hollianne.
Hollianne was kind enough to let me get my picture taken with Kowanni.
Here an update for Kowanni the great horned owl. I’m planning to finish tonight!
I’ve added my previous progression pictures and the original photo of Kowanni for fun. Although, they aren’t very illustrative of my process other than I draw when I can. By the way, don’t you think Bliss is a great photo prop. She kind of doesn’t really like it. This is the look I get just before she gets up and leaves.
Inking the night!
I thought maybe a woody update would be cool, not sure it’s working. Bliss just wasn’t into it.
Jury duty sketching.
This is the real Kowanni. In case you missed my last post, he’s a resident of Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation. Actually I’m not sure if Kowanni is a him or her. Sadly, he’s not capable of hunting so will never be released. I want to portray Kowanni as he is meant to be.
This weekend is the Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Open House. Mary and I will be attending for Red Tail Publishing. We sell children’s books and art prints. This year I decide to do a special art print of a special owl. Here’s a work in progress of Kowanni the great horned owl. It’s the same picture I was working on at jury duty.
Kowanni is a resident at SWRR because he can’t be returned to the wild due to the nature of his injury which left him unable to hunt. I took a photo of him last year at the event in his capacity of animal ambassador.
Here’s Kowanni on his perch. My drawing is of him where I imagine he would want to be if he could. Stay tuned for updates.