When Wrecking Balls Are Swung

Something has changed in this era. Art has shifted off base. Its watered down, covered up because in some places art poses a threat. Yeah really, people are afraid of the power of art. But don’t be fooled. Though we hope it is just an illusion, the reality is the repercussions of the fear of art are devastating.

What is interesting to me is that in many of these same places we find that artist have vigilantly gone underground for survival.  The underground art movement is alive and well.  It’s waiting.  For what?  What’s it protecting?  The artist?  Art?  Women & children?  Historical landmarks?  Cultural integrity?

Art is vulnerable, along with women and children.  So when violent men are angry with some THING, some ideology or some religion they take their violence out on what they are most afraid of.  And art, women and children are easy targets.  Solving problems in this manner is brutally barbaric. It’s misguided thinking to believe violence will solve anything at all.

When the wrecking balls are swung the destruction is overwhelming.  We need to protect our artistic heritage.  Oneway is through diverse and respectful education.  Another is by eliminating poverty.  These same processes also protect women & children.  The United Nations claim that the modern world now is capable of doing these two things.  So why is the world dragging its feet?  What else is going on? Is it just about power and money?  Are too many people still living in the past? …or is it all madness?

What about this THING that shows up from time to time called beauty? Is all art suppose to be beautiful or is it meaning we are searching for?

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And always—Thank you for supporting the arts ❤

Dodo Bird & Tree of the Dragon

Again we are finding the relationship between birds and trees are far more reaching than we thought. The above photograph is of one of the only complete skeleton of a single dodo found in 1903 on Mauritius. It’s hard to say exactly what the dodo bird would have looked like but this is what Oxford University and the Natural History Museum came up with in London. The other photo is of the archaic Tree of the Dragon.

Approximately five hundred years ago the fruit of the Dragon Tree was the staple food of an endemic, Dodo, flightless bird that is now extinct playing an important ecological role. The Dodo Bird was the first animal known to humans to become extinct.  And we think now that this bird had an important relationship to the Tree of the Dragon.

The processing of Dragon Tree seeds through the digestive tract of this bird helped stimulate germination and it is possible that the loss of this bird species has led to a decline in naturally occurring Dragon Trees. The tree is becoming very rare and seed must be manually processed in order to germinate.

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The above information is from these links below.



Bird of the Week: Varied Thrush

It was easter weekend and I called my mom & dad in northern New Hampshire. My mom was excited because she saw about dozen robins in her back yard. As you know, the Eastern US has had a hard winter, but the Baker River Valley where my parents live just missed most of the big snowfall. For my mom, robins mean spring and it’s a good omen to see them on easter. 

This weekend, I am at my studio in Northern California. I got off the phone and went to my window. The sun was shining and birds were at my feeder and quail were scratching the ground.  In the middle of the quail I saw a shy but princely looking varied thrush, Ixoreus naevius.  It is similar in size to the american robin but has a shorter tail, the orange throat is paler with a black collar. The robin lacks the orange eye stripe and orange wing bars of varied thrush.  Also the posture is different.  The american robin is a common bird, upright, head held high and looks for worms. The elusive varied thrush stands more horizontally, hops on the ground to forage mainly insects and other arthropods in the summer and switch to berries and seeds in winter.  It looks strange to see him amongst the quail. 

The varied thrush is known for it’s distinctive call in woodland forests. It’s like a long, buzzy and eerie whistle, one pitch, drawn out until it fades followed by a short silence with successive notes at different pitch and long inter-note intervals.  It goes on for some time and then the bird flies to another branch and starts it’s call again.  Nests are usually placed in conifers, at base of branches against trunk, 5-15′ above the ground. Sites can vary and in the far north occasionally they will be much higher and in deciduous thickets or may nest very low and sometimes even on the ground. Nests are built by the female is a bulky open cup of twigs, moss, leaves, and bark fibers, lined with softer grasses. The female lays and incubates 3-4 eggs. Both parents feed the young and will raise two broods in a season when possible.

In the Pacific Northwest, the varied thrush is a year-round though elusive resident. It also breeds throughout western Canada and all of Alaska and spends winters in mostly in California but have been seen on the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. Varied thrushes are currently still common but are vulnerable to loss of habitat due to the cutting of forests throughout their range. Populations appear to be stable at present.