10 1/2 x 13
Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper (work in progress)
I think she’s more yellow than I want so will be adding more reds to her today.
She is actually an Alaskan Brown Bear, but if I remember correctly from my Bear Country days the only difference between the Grizzly and the Alaskan Brown Bear is location. They are genetically the same species. Grizzlies are coastal (and tend to get bigger because of the fish diet) and Browns are inland bears.
Spray Me! Spray Meeeeee!
You may remember that at one time I worked in a small wildlife park/zoo. (That was back in the day that I actually used my degree in regards to earning my living.) While there I had the daily experience of being hands-on with all sorts of North America’s finest predatory animals. Bears, Wolves, Mt. lions and Badgers.
But do you know the critter than struck the most fear in my heart? Racoons (um hum . . . thaaaat’s right) followed closely by Pronghorn antelope.
Walking into a pack of hungry wolves holds no comparison to entering a mob of coons that have zero fear of me. They climbed me like a tree, pulled my hair out, scratched me, squabbled amongst themselves while dangling from my clothes and put their tiny little hands into places they shouldn’t.
As for the pronghorns, they also had no fear of people. And if the male caught sight of you, he came at you full tilt. In case you aren’t familiar they are one of the worlds fastest land animals, (second only to the cheetah.) And there’s nothing I’d want less than being speared in the butt (they’re kinda compact creatures so that’s where they’d hit you) at 40 mph. More than once I just closed the gate as he bounced off the chain link fence behind me.
My secret weapon against the raging, scary, vicious, out for blood antelope? The common garden hose. That little length of green plastic kept me from dangling by my keister off that nasty little critters horns more than once. (Also worked really well with the mountain lions.)
Unfortunately the racoons thought it was great fun. They were all like “Hey over here, Spray me! Spray meeeeee!” Though I would think “truly” wild racoons might fear it.
It seems most wild critters hate to be sprayed with a hose as much as domestic dogs, cats, horses and . . . well . . . husbands. Who knew?
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