This past March my wife and I took the trip of a lifetime and had the honor of visiting the Galapagos Islands with an amazing crew and wonderful company. We ended our trip with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island where we came face to face with an amazing elderly gentleman by the name of "Lonesome George" the last of his kind. He was a massive tortoise with an amazing saddle shaped shell. We spent the morning with our group watching him sit in his pool and soak up the mornings rays all the while listening to our awesome guide Juan tell the detailed story of his plight. He was phenomenal to watch. I snapped a bunch of pics while there but they do him no justice. He had to be seen in person to really grasp how amazing he was. He looked like he was from another time, long past and ancient. I imagined him filled with secrets of things long gone and the keys to longevity. Sadly he passed away unexpectedly on Sunday and with his passing the Pinta Island subspecies of Galapagos Tortoises (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni)is now gone from the Earth. Full story
Those islands...the entire trip and George in particular left a mark on me that I will carry with me until the end of my days. They were a shining example of life as we know it on this awesome planet. Evolution...survival...and extinction all wrapped up into a neat little archipelago floating in the Pacific. George's secrets may have died with him...but I still think we can learn a bunch from his life and moving on. Eat lots of fresh vegetables...Conserve water it's the planets most valuable resource...Take your time...Don't rush in to a relationship if you're not ready...and stay away from Whalers!!!
I drew this piece over one of the photos I snapped while visiting. I hope he finds eternal rest with his ancestors and continues his journey lonesome no more. Until we meet again George.
Taking a break from the bird illustrations to knock out a quick bunch of buttons of North American Mammals to bring to San Diego this year. Here is a quick preview of the ever so awesome American Bison. They look so prehistoric and menacing yet they have such a wonderful face snuggableness about them. I love these guys.