Juvenile Brown Pelican at the Salton Sea in Southern California
This pelican stands on a beach made of fish bones, enjoying one of the few wet places in the Mojave Desert. The Salton Sea is an important stop for birds of many species as they migrate for winter.
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, a giant ancient sea called Lake Cahuilla existed in the area of the Salton Sink in Southern California. Before European explorers reached Lake Cahuilla, it evaporated due to natural changes in the weather. In the early 1900s, dam engineers miscalculated and diverted water from the Colorado River. They had hoped to route water from Northwestern Mexico to Los Angeles and surrounding farmland, but instead water flowed uncontrollably into the ancient sink hole where Lake Cahuilla had been. The Salton Sea was born.
During the 1950s, the Salton Sea became a popular tourist spot for weekend vacationers. The California Department of Natural Resources introduced several fish species for recreational fishing, and children came to play at the crowded Bombay Beach.
However, the Salton Sea does not have sufficient water to sustain itself. Water in the lake is becoming saltier and more polluted. Many of the introduced fish species have died off, and their bones fill the shorelines, appearing like sand from a distance. Only one species, the tilapia mozambique has survived.
Yellow Sweet Clover
Sweet Clover is a noxious weed found east of the Cascade Mountain Range in North America. It is especially prevalent in prairie regions of the United States and Canada. Originally brought to the New World to feed honey bees, Sweet Clover's proliferation is difficult to control. However, sweet clover was used to create the important and widespread drug Warfarin, which is used to prevent heart attack and other blood clotting disorders.
Adult and juvenille seagull following. I saw these seagulls in the International District of Seattle. I think I will soon relocate them to an Alki beach background.
murax shell, scratchboard
Walk in the Winter
I found these on a walk on one of the cloudy, rainy days that invade Seattle's winters
I packed this apple for a hike near the Salton Sea in Southern California in February. In June, I was cleaning out my backpack and found it in an unused pocket. After I took it out and started to draw the apple, the rot started to accelerate, and I had to throw it out before finishing the painting. Then I painted the rest from memory. Forgetting is a bit like rotting.