A Wolf Among Wolves


Bugs and Birds

I got another stickbug pet!

I’ve been trying to draw a bird every day:

Recently I switched to ink:

I haven’t drawn any this week

but I did paint a Formosan Blue Magpie in my “cave painting” style:

which now hangs by my front door:

I also finished this painting of a beetle

that I started in Costa Rica with only a children’s Crayola water color palette and brush:

and it now hangs in my living room:

Some Interesting Links

“Natural history education — and simply looking, observing and exploring nature — are the birthright of all children and biologists. Failing to teach natural history and spend time in nature has serious practical consequences for individuals and for society.”

Conservation Wednesday

Can One Incredibly Stubborn Person Save a Species? – Enriqueta Velarde is my new hero. Not only is she almost solely responsible for the recovery of two species (my favorite gull, the Heermann’s, and the Elegant Tern) she’s basically living my dream of hanging out alone on an island in Latin America.

Decoding Nature’s Soundtrack – Soundscape Ecology is a super interesting field.

The Five Most Unique Birds in the World – Hoatzins are one of my favorites. And I have a painting I did of a Secretary Bird above my couch. I’m a sucker for the weird ones.

The Natural World Is an Elephant World – Megafauna are critical for the health of ecosystems. (Where the Wild Things Were by William Stolzenburg is a great book that touches on some of this, though more in the context of mega-predators)

An Uncomfortably Close Look At The Amazing Opossum – Opossums are fascinating. I rescued a baby opossum a couple of weeks ago and not only was he adorable, I felt more confident picking him up because I knew they don’t get rabies! Which is just one of the many cool things about them.

Conservation Tuesday

Oil Companies Are Planning to Drill in Florida Panther Habitat – there are only 100-160 Florida Panthers left. Large mammalian predators play the long game when it comes to breeding. I don’t think taking the viewpoint of “well, let’s see if this actually damages things” is even a little bit ok.

These maps show where species will have to go as climate changes – focuses on Australia, really worthwhile visualization of data.

Lion Tamarins versus Climate Change | Extinction Countdown, Scientific American Blog Network.

Writer Who Exposed Songbird Slaughter Applauds Albania’s Hunting Ban – Johnathan Franzen talks about the two-year hunting ban that was just approved in Albania in the wake of his previous exposé in National Geographic.

New WildLeaks Website Invites Whistle-Blowers on Wildlife Crime – this is a great idea and I really hope this makes a difference.

New Crocodile Species Discovered in West Africa – it only took 7 million years to figure it out ;)

Huge chimpanzee population thriving in remote Congo forest - amazing and also intersects with the link in the last post related to the CAR.

Conservation Friday

I’m doing a lot more of my blogging over on MAGANRORD these days, but I would like to keep things alive here, and I’ve been reading some cool stuff tonight that I want to share with people. Most of my internet reading these days is centered around conservation, ecology, and biology but I’m trying to keep MAGANRORD more specifically bird-focused. So, rather than info-bombing the shit out of my friends’ facebook feeds, I’m gonna share stuff here.

*rescue organizations, etc excepted

I Know What You Think of Me

I Know What You Think of Me By TIM KREIDER - NYT

We don’t give other people credit for the same interior complexity we take for granted in ourselves, the same capacity for holding contradictory feelings in balance, for complexly alloyed affections, for bottomless generosity of heart and petty, capricious malice. We can’t believe that anyone could be unkind to us and still be genuinely fond of us, although we do it all the time.

I particularly love the final three paragraphs, of which the above excerpt is one,  but I also think the entire piece is something that we all can relate to.

These words just came out of me. Don’t you ever doubt my geek cred.

Marie: I’m just gonna live on one of the interstellar spaceship things from dan simmons’ hyperion series
Marie: probably the muir one
Marie: it’s a giant tree
Chris: giant tree ships are pretty cool
Marie:that series is awesome
Marie:like just reading that little bit made me want to read it again
Marie:also his other series about robot gods pretending to be greek gods living on mars and forcing people to reenact the illiad

Mare Island panorama

Mare Island panorama by primalux
Mare Island panorama, a photo by primalux on Flickr.

The Primalux shop is back!

Just a tiny bit of self-promotion here.

Before I moved to Costa Rica I used to run an online store where I sold jewelry and terrariums and other things I made. And I’ve decided to do that again. Here are a few pieces I have up so far:

Stingray barb earrings

Stingray barb earrings

Stingray barb pendant necklace

Stingray barb pendant necklace

Sea specimen necklace

Sea specimen necklace

Bone and gold leaf statement necklace

Bone and gold leaf statement necklace

You can check out the shop here, at primalux.etsy.com.

I will be adding more pieces steadily in the coming weeks, including terrariums/mossariums, art, and other little things I make. If you’re at all interested in what I make and how I make it, and the various things I draw inspiration from, I’ve also set up a companion blog on tumblr, a facebook page, and an instagram account. Any and all support is greatly appreciated.

Bastard Science!

(*referring to “conspiracy theorists” arguing about the Boston Marathon Bombings on her Facebook page)

(11:00:00 AM) Raeven: dude
(11:00:05 AM) Raeven: how are these people still breathing*
(11:00:09 AM) Marie: hahaha
(11:00:20 AM) Raeven: like shouldnt evolution have kicked in
(11:00:46 AM) Marie: well hopefully it will at least insure that they don’t have viable offspring
(11:01:08 AM) Raeven: 2 already
(11:01:11 AM) Raeven: so sad
(11:01:15 AM) Raeven: humanity is fucked
(11:01:20 AM) Marie: well hopefully they aren’t fertile offspring
(11:01:24 AM) Marie: like mules or something
(11:01:32 AM) Marie: evolution plays the long game unfortunately
(11:01:32 AM) Marie: ha
(11:01:34 AM) Raeven: ooooo good yes
(11:01:40 AM) Raeven: fucking bastard science

Soon to be necklace – gold leaf and bone

Soon to be necklace – gold leaf and bone

Falcons on an airplane

Falcons on an airplane by primalux
Falcons on an airplane, a photo by primalux on Flickr.

Falcons on an airplane

Dictionaries are vital to birding

Dictionaries are vital to birding

/me cries #holyfuckImisslivinginthejungle #natureisthefuckingbest

BBC Nature – Rare cat filmed up close in Borneo.

One of the world’s most rare and elusive cats, the Sunda clouded leopard of Malaysia, has been filmed up close.

A biologist holidaying in Malaysia has captured unique footage of a young female leopard resting in the forest.

Previously, this top predator has only been filmed fleetingly and at a distance, with the first wild footage to be made public captured in 2010.

The Sunda clouded leopard was only discovered to be a distinct species in 2007.

Evopropinquitous | pegalicious: Tree Morphology Remember that…

pegalicious: Tree Morphology

Remember that post where we couldn’t recognize those five leaves but probably knew all the corporate logos? This is the antidote. Let’s do it.

via Evopropinquitous | pegalicious: Tree Morphology Remember that….

Why don’t I have 1.500 €???

It’s for sale here.

Apropos of nothing..

I was talking to some people the other day about how much it annoys me when people talk about the Mayan civilization being dead, or having “mysteriously” disappeared, because I could point out dozens of Mayans to you on the streets of SF or Marin every day. They were pushed back into the outreaches and hidden places of Central America due to Spanish invasion. They may have not had an “empire” by that point, but they were still THERE. And they are still there, and are an incredibly marginalized people in many Central American countries. In fact we were having this conversation in a Mexican restaurant in Tiburon staffed almost exclusively by people from Guatemala. And everyone was still trying to argue with me that there was a legitimate reason to speak about them that way. But I digress….

I saw this quote on Metafilter, talking about Indigenous Australians:

“Their culture is not dead, their lifestyle is not dead, they are not dead. The cultural mythology of a dead culture contributes, exactly as the article describes, to the idea that it’s a distant thing.”



I want to own all of these

Photos taken of birds caught in mist nets. Before you freak out, this is how birds are banded by biologists. They’re in no danger. But it makes for some awesome, surreal images.

Side note: I miss hearing power line birds (montezuma oropendolas – pictured above). Here’s what they sound like:

They were everywhere on our property when we lived in Costa Rica.
Todd R. Forsgren – Ornithological Photographs.