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I hope these paintings will in some way inspire you to investigate these organisms further. Their wondrous forms and capabilities are often overlooked and underappreciated. Imagine the tapestry that would color your world if you could communicate using sonar (yet still be able to learn human sign language) like a dolphin, smell with the intensity of the Polar Bear, understand chemical signals like the Honey Bee, navigate up to 600 miles from memory like the Desert Elephant, or utilize the earth’s geomagnetic fields to swim 800 miles like the Green Sea Turtle. The true complexity of the communication between most organisms lies in realms we still know relatively little about. The descriptions for each painting include facts, interviews, and poems about the organisms.
My wife and I had the pleasure of hearing from Carter Niemeyer, who lead the efforts to bring wolves back to Yellowstone National Park from Canada. He remarked that “Wildlife is a national treasure. All species have a unique relationship with their environment and interact with plants and animals around them. Wolves are no exception. Human activities dominate the planet Earth and while wild nature is all around us to study, observe and enjoy, we tend to look at wildlife as tangible resources to be managed for economic benefits, encouraged where they fit into human systems, discouraged where they don't and removed where they cause problems with human commerce. Wildlife has to pay its way, mind its manners, or get out of the way of human development. Large carnivores, like wolves, require large tracts of land, rich in wild prey, free of domestic livestock, safe from human encroachment in an environment where people have an enlightened understanding that wolves have an essential place in nature where humans do not hate and fear them. How many places on earth fit that description?”
Hopefully, we can allow for more. For we are but part of a complex ecosystem, which, if not respected, will no longer allow for us.