And now for something completely different...
Shame on me for allowing this blog to neglect the ENTIRE month of September... my great apologies to the few individuals who keep tabs on this tiny window of artful ungulate (and other) adventures. Things get busy, others go south, and before you know it, it's October... but I am delighted to share this new post - it is both long overdue, and an exciting step in a direction I have been meaning to go.
A month or so ago I was aksed by the fine folks over at 101florals if I'd be interested in contributing a pattern to their weekly series of illustrator collaborations - and of course I did! But as an animal artist, how could I spin this assignment to reflect my own particular passion and skill, while sticking to the realm of "floral" design... My solution? In a word: BATS. The explanation (from the 101florals post):
"As a specialist in animal and natural/scientific illustration, it was important to me to incorporate a critter of some sort into this floral project. Pollinators were an obvious place to start, and the more I researched, the more I became fascinated with BATS! The flowers that lend themselves to bat pollination (aka chiropterophily) are generally large, showy, often bell-shaped, and bloom pale or white blossoms - at night! The bats readily duck into them to sip nectar, dusting themselves with pollen in the process. How cool is that?! The flowers featured here are aptly named Cathedral Bells (Cobaea scandens), and the use of a restricted/muted palette I think does a swell job at conveying a sense of dusk or nighttime… I'm hoping the concept of bats and big beautiful flowers inspires and encourages people to learn a bit more about these amazing, gentle, and extremely beneficial little flying mammals."And there you have it... just in time for Halloween to boot!
Also, for the record, pollination via bat is AMAZING - if your interest is at all peaked, here are some additional links: check out this gallery of bat pollinated plants; this crizay-zay photo of bat tongue (perfect for reaching into long tubular blossoms); an article on one incredible tropical flower with an ingenious, bat-centric phenotype; and this short exploration into the evolution of bat pollination.