Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy New Year! In spite of gloomy economic news, I try to keep sane by continuing to seek beauty in the world and attempt to paint it. The orchid pictured below, the stemless ladys' slipper, is listed as Endangered in Illinois. Today I learned that no one has seen it in almost ten years - contacting people about the two state records informed me that it's very possible the plant is extirpated. At the very most, there is probably only one colony remaining, and its numbers have plummeted over the years so the news isn't good... 
I feel like the authors of the book "Last Chance to See," who travelled all over the world documenting the last years of endangered animals such as the Yangtze River dolphin. Where will this sixth global extinction, in which we are currently living and participating, finally leave us? I shudder to think, but I also believe that human ingenuity, community and caring contains all the answers to solve our weighty global problems. 

3 comments:

Dave Coulter said...

What a terrific painting. I like your optimism in the face of these extinctions. I guess I too have hitched my wagon to the idea of hope. The alternative is too grim to contemplate!

1%FOC said...

Have you heard of the Orchid Conservation Coalition.
http://www.orchidconservationcoalition.org/

orchidartist said...

The more I learn, the more questions I have and ask, the more I realize how complex and interconnected all the factors are that impact the health and ecology of our native orchids. I will be writing more about this as soon as some new research is published - or even before! : )