Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blue Jeans


A small stack of commissioned paintings for holiday presents and the days of Christmas have come and gone, leaving me somewhat behind and venturing out to catch up. The main thing I promised myself when starting this blog was to post almost every day. Right off the bat, I blew it. If I do that again, I'll make it a point to flog myself senseless with a handful of wet linguini.
My main site is YimiArt. I feature a lot of frog paintings there, because I like frogs, and I like to paint frogs. Being here in Costa Rica, I have ample material for that effort. CR abounds with frogs, not only in quantity, but varieties. On this blog I feature an 8x10 acrylic on canvas of the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog, Blue Jean Frog, or Dendrobates Pumilio.
In choosing to paint wildlife, I have become more and more fascinated by "THE REAL STORY" of some of the creatures I depict on canvas. This little fellow is interesting for a number of reasons. First he's colorful and fairly common around here in the river bottoms and rain forests. I can walk a few hundred yards from where I sit and kick around the leaves by the river and usually rustle up one or two. Second, he's poisonous. Not quite as poisonous as his cousins in the Phyllobates group (the secretions from which native tribes derive their potent arrow poison), but toxic enough to cause a skin reaction if you handle em enough. Kinda hard to handle, tho, cause he's only as big as a pencil eraser.
The main thing I find utterly amazing about Blue Jeans is something that bolsters my faith in our Creator and causes me to seriously think about the intelligence mechanisms in "lower" life forms. After the female lays her eggs and they begin to hatch, she will mount one of her little tadpoles on her back and venture out to place him in the center of a bromeliad growing on the trunk of a tree nearby. The center of the bromeliad almost always contains water, which is necessary for the tadpole's survival. She will repeat the process, going to a different bromeliad each time, until all of her young are transplanted. She will often go considerable distances and heights to accomplish this "labor of love". Afterwards, she will take unfertilized eggs and bring them to her babies for nourishment, leaving one egg in each bromeliad. She does this feeding task several times. She, somehow, is able to remember where she put each of her young. That accomplishment, however heavily it relies on either intelligence or instinct, is truly remarkable.

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