Monday, August 26, 2019

Flowers of the air

When you first step foot into the towering majestic Eucalyptus tree grove in Pismo Beach, you feel slightly disappointed as all you see is, well...just trees. But hold on...there's glittering flashes of orange all around you as well- camouflaged butterflies start fluttering over your head and you stand there just mesmerized with a stupid grin on your face...or was that just me!!

Western Monarches, my favorite of all the jewel-toned butterflies, migrate thousands of miles seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters and make a pit stop at Pismo Beach each year starting in late October. They cluster on the Eucalyptus limbs, hanging by the hundreds in an electrifying curtain of orange! I read that helps protect them from rain, wind and predators as well as providing warmth for the group! They estimate that over 20,000 butterflies migrate through that area in a single season!! That's pretty darn impressive for sure!!

Some fun facts:

Monarch weigh less than 1 gram!! Seriously?!!!

The Monarchs that visit Pismo Beach are of a different variety and have a life span of 6 months as opposed to that of the common Monarch which only lives 6 weeks.

Monarchs will lay around 1,000 eggs in their tiny 6 month lifetime...WOW!! After having 2 kids I was done...maybe laying eggs is easier...just saying!!

Winging it (c) 2019  13.5x8.75 colored pencil drawing

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Up at the quack of dawn

Up at the Quack of Dawn (c) 2019 17.5x13 $1825.00

Through the years I have hiked and photographed this beautiful trail in Pasadena, CA called Lower Arroyo Seco, meaning "dry stream" in Spanish. The trail leads you under the magnificent Colorado Boulevard Bridge, which is the only local bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places, built in 1913. 

Just south of the bridge is where a small pond resided brimming with countless Mallard ducks and their adorable ducklings!

The Devils Gate damn, just north of this lovely area is where the problem began this year for the Lower Arroyo Seco area. A four year renovation project launched, plowing down 70 acres of enhanced habitat for wildlife due to LA County neglecting this area for years, allowing non-native and invasive plant species to thrive. Their plan is to remove 1.7 million cubic yards of sediment, with 400 trucks moving through this area per day for the next 4 years. It is said by many that the amount of sediment removed will harm a delicate ecosystem housing endangered and sensitive wildlife...yup it certainly has!

With the abundance of rain we received this year, it caused all that loose sediment and soil to flow down and fill up that pond where I took the photo for this drawing. I hardly even recognized the area when I went there a few weeks lonely drake left by himself, all the others had fled apparently. 

So, this drawing I created has great meaning to me more than ever and symbolizes what we lost. 

This is what it looked like weeks ago, just a small waterway going through...once the weather gets hot I'm not sure even this will be there. And certainly no more ducks or herons will be there.

My great hope is that 4 years down the line this precious area will be restored and waterfowl and other native wildlife will once again return. I really miss those ducklings!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Over the river and through the woods.

Wade in the Stillness
Collection of Memories
Stories to be told

~Kathryn Hansen~

Power to the Pebble (c) Kathryn Hansen 17x11.75 $1720

On the hiking trail in La Canada, CA with my dog Indie.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

He drives everyone nuts!

Wilderness Retreet (c) Kathryn Hansen 9.5x20
Despite Chippy McNutters diminutive size, he was pretty much a big shot in his neck of the woods as he could gather up to 165 acorns on a good day. His furry friends however were starting to have concerns about Chippy's hoarding problem. Intervention seemed inevitable. Luckily for Chippy hibernation season was right around the corner so he was able to skirt the issue till Spring!


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