The narwhal features on my alphabet of strange animals. The reason behind its strange twirling horn (actually one of its teeth) has been long debated but new footage by the WWF show narwhals tapping at fish with them. See the footage here.
Ever heard of a vaquita? Neither had I.
They are tiny, possibly our smallest cetacean. They were our second most endangered dolphin until the baiji were written off as extinct. Now they are THE rarest and on the verge of being lost for ever.
On the latest count there are only 30 left. I can paint all the vaquita that are on this planet and that blows my mind.
Gill nets are the biggest known culprits and hopefully if the Mexican government will halt the use of these nets the vaquita may have a chance.
This time last year I came back from two months in New Zealand where I first started this blog! This is a map I created to remember the animals I met on the way.
I’ve always loved maps and I would really like to do some more. Maybe one of North Wales where I’m from.
I spruced up the map a bit and it is now available on etsy.
Eeeeh! I got to paint a bunch of hedgehogs last week!
Usually I sketch out very basic shapes lightly with a soft pencil which I rub out later but this time I used WATERCOLOUR PENCILS!!! How didn’t I do this earlier? The marks disappear as I paint so I can be super messy 🙂
I filled in my hedgehog shape with water and splooshed in some sepia, yellow ochre and cerulean blue. Apart from the black ink and white highlights I only used these three colours. Oh and a sprinkle of salt to see what it would do.
Happy speed painting Sunday that I just made up 😊 I've been making hedgehogs for the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust which has been a joy! Expect stickers and prints on my etsy shop soon x #hedgehog #warwickshirewildlifetrust #nature #speedpainting #watercolour #makersmovement #onmydesk #kidlitart #artistsoninstagram #artistsofinstagram #illustrator
These hedgehogs are going to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to help explain how to help these critters. Find out more about their excellent work here.
I ordered new hedgehog stickers and this time my sticker sheets will have teeny snails and cute leaves on to. I can’t wait for them to arrive 🙂
Birds! Now in colour.
Birds coming to the garden sparked my love for wildlife. My grandparents would throw a crust of bread out of the window and we would guess which bird would be the first one there.
As you watch them you get a bit of drama between the species. Greenfinches seem to claim feeders and bully others off, but the tiny blue tit is feisty and darts in for seeds anyway. A group of chaffinches calmly circle underneath, hoovering up dropped food while the robin seems alert, dashing in for a morsel. Sparrows appear on mass, hiding the bird bath in mass of feathers.
The RSPB hold the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of this month. Make yourself a cup of tea and just jot down how many birds you see in one hour. Easy. Over the years the results have shown rises and falls in what we see. Tiny birds suffer in colder winters and a disease can cut the number of greenfinches. You can get a free pack here.
Thank you for reading! I wish you a wonderful, colourful and feathery new year.
Electric eels. Not technically an eel (this guy is a knifefish) but definitely electric. It’s so unusual that it has been reclassified several times.
Growing up to 2 meters long, four-fifths of its body are electricity producing organs capable of producing a short burst at 860 volts! Not enough to kill an adult human but useful in zapping small fish, mammals, but mostly crabs and other invertebrates.
I really enjoy finding interesting colours in animals which look dull and brown at first but electric eels have that lovely orangey-red chin. Being a murky brown makes sense in the dingy swamps and rivers of South America they live in where they can disappear and sneak up on their prey. The colourful chin is darker on mature males and may be a signal to potential mates.
Other contenders for E:
- Emperor Penguin
Want electric eels laptop covers and things? Look here
Platypus had to be in here somehow!
It’s said that when a stuffed platypus was put on display in victorian britain it was thought to be a hoax. To draw it did feel I was drawing an otter’s body with a beak and surprised me that I had to get my head around the abstractness of this animal.
It is one in 5 existing mammals that lay eggs (and produces milk… so you can platypus custard – it’s a joke but it makes my insides curdle with the thought) existing in the wonderful world of eastern Australia.
It’s also venomous! Also a rare trait for a mammal. If you’re destined to be weird, be as weird as you can be and roll with it.
Find platypus on pillows and more on redbubble