The Beaver Monologues
The Beaver momologues..
I have recently completed 10 paintings with Beavers as the theme.
These paintings are much more important to me than just pictures of these adorable creatures. I have chosen this subject because I am passionate about Gaia, the biodiversity of our fabulous planet. And the reality of climate extremism. I believe that Beavers can help.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments.
Beavercape on Sugar Creek
and I am lucky to live in one of the many headwaters originating in this beautiful region. The heavy rains a couple of winters ago caused my small wetlands to disappear with an ever deepening channel through the middle. I have noticed the creeks and streams are dropping everywhere as the water table of the entire Appalachian range drops.
Pictured here is a photo of the creek and the follow is my fantasy of what the wetlands would look like if I had beavers to help hold the water.
As my purpose in loving beaver is all about climate change and Covid 19 is something about which we are all concerned, here is a recent piece from Time magazine.
The assault on ecosystems that allowed COVID-19 to jump from animals to humans went far beyond merchants hunting and selling rare wildlife. Biodiversity—that is, the health of the entire ecosystem—can restrain pathogens before they ever leave the wild. “We need to tell people right now that there is a series of things we need to do once we’re out of this mess to make sure it never happens again,
the link to the entire article is
24 x 48 acrylic on canvas. NFS quite yet.
today i would like to share my opinion that beavers are better for our creeks than cattle. 'Beavers are remarkable, adorable ecosystem engineers. They are a keystone species, they repair and expand riparian habitat, they seem to counter nearly every negative impact of climate change'*. This photo is a stream nearby. You can see the erosion and degradation. I was turned on to beavers through Ben Goldfarb;s book Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter., which in turn led me to a film by Sarah Koenigsberg - the Beaver Believers, and a most excellent website called Worth a Dam.
You can access these great things and much more through https://www.martinezbeavers.org/ search for ben goldfarb's new short video,
here is another tid bit
Beavers were extinct in England for 400 years. then...
"Scientists from Stirling University looked at the effects a group of beavers had on a wetland in Tayside originally drained for farming.
The 12-year study found plant richness rose by 46% and the number of different plants recorded more than doubled." The study is the first to measure the environmental benefits of the beavers' activity over time.
Between 2003 and 2015, the beavers constructed 195 metres of dams, 500 metres of canals and an acre of ponds at the site on a private estate in Blairgowrie, Perthshire.
Scientists said the surrounding vegetation "increased in complexity" by 71%.
Whistle creek Beaverscape
20 x 40 acrylic on canvas SOLD
Day 3 eco-helpers mid-valley beaverscape
Beavers are a way to adapt to the climate change. we need to not only mitigate but adapt, and beavers are a way to do that by holding the water in the uplands so that it releases slowly throughout the summer. The water table on the Appalachians is rapidly declining. beavers are underappreciated and have had a bit of bad rap in the past. They need to eat and they do eat trees. However, I think it would behoove society to gladly sacrifice a small percentage of our land, whether that be suburbia, forest or field to these little folk which will help slowly saturate the soil thereby increasing yields, and reducing runoff. I think the way to using this valuable tool is by getting people to like beavers and to appreciate beavers. They could be a problem (mostly concerning roads) on occasion , but there are ways to work with that. As any true partnership, it is a give-and-take relationship.
20 x 40 acrylic on canvas $750 (on hold)
Day 4 beaverface
Getting to know beavers.
I have done several portraits, and with each one I feel a bit closer to the essence of beaver.
Beavers play a role in natural flood management by attenuating water flows during periods of high rainfall.
here's a bit from a piece written by Dan Rodricks, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun.
"Pickering (England), in the drainage of the North York moorland, had considerable success in addressing its flood problems in recent years, but not in the big, costly way you might expect."
you can read the whole article at https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/columnists/dan-rodricks/bs-md-rodricks-0308-20200306-5etq4gpkzbfktgfvuhmzqyx5zq-story.html
Day 5 Aerial view study
As I worked on these paintings, I traveled from the pictorial to just letting the paint speak to the lusciousness of the swamp and wetlands. it is impossible to portray the myriad life forms for which beavers provide habitat. I read a bit about beavers most days and one day I read that the the canals that they build are in straight lines (of course they are -they are highways, or should I say lowways) to get the sticks to the dam. So I did this small aerial view of the idea of collecting the water and then letting it out slowly.
as a bit of a side note several folks said it reminded them of the virus- and i had to admit ok. maybe all the news I hear is seeping in.
I watched the vidio on the martinezbeaver.org site called urban beavers. way to go. !! worth the watch. all those videos on the right hand side are great.
thanks Heidi Perryman.
acrylic on panel 10 x 10 $125
waking up in spring
I just finished listening to a radio program about Rachel Carson and earth day. Lord- why did we not listen!! alas , We must press on. We and beavers can move together towards healing the earth.
as I did not post a new painting yesterday i offer this super cute one today. Don;t you just have to forgive her? "waking up in the early spring.' Keeping with the theme of messy marks and strong abstract design, i strive to exhibit the beautiful geometry of nature.
I was struck, as an arrow to the heart, by this quote by Pope Francis -
"The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek , humility, service, and love."
the basic idea
Fun with paint. i am striving to get the idea across that beavers store water free of charge. There are some actual photos on the following website.
and here is a snippet from 'beef magazine' from the rancher/owner.
"At one time, there were enough beaver ponds in the U.S. to submerge California, Oregon and Washington. But decades of trapping and hunting beavers decimated their populations. Thousands of streams deepened and straightened, and many wet meadows, small creeks, and floodplains disappeared across the country". .." By restoring these natural engineers, Wilde’s ranch and its surrounding public lands now boast luscious wet meadows with nutritious forage, healthy riparian habitat for wildlife, and floodplains that are more resilient to fire, drought, and erosion."
you can read the entire article at https://www.beefmagazine.com/sustainability/beaver-power-provides-year-long-water-idaho-ranch
this is the last portrait of the series. i think he has a please let me live and help look. thank you Heidi Perryman for alerting me to the possibility of a blonde beaver.
It had been quite a journey. We humans have practiced extraction from our Mother (Earth) for too too long. Learning about beavers and being inspired that productive action can be taken. Beavers create land, clean pollutants, fill the aquifers. These are vitally important things that we on this planet need. and we need it now! We still have a long 'row to hoe' we need to change the laws in Virginia (and others) to relocate instead of kill. We need to educate everyone that BEAVERS ARE WORTH A DAM!