Friday, October 30, 2009

Sculpture and Snakes

Snakes are a common theme in folk art as canes, and as powerful images. Here's a little something for the Halloween soapbox.

Here are two of my snakes. (If you can't find it, you've just goota make it yourself.) The first two shots are of a snake I made from a cedar root. I only added one tooth and the eyes. Last photo is of the dreaded Wisteria Spiral Snake. When I found it in the trash, I couldn't believe that anyone could throw away something so cool. The vine wrapped around a column for multiple 360s. Brought it home and added checkers for the eyes, carved the mouth, added the tail and Voila! Folk Art

What isn't cool is when people take their "little" pet reptiles after they've grown too large for their cages and dump them in the wild. Florida is just waking up to the problem. The US Geological Survey released a report saying that 5 giant non-native species, boa constrictors, anacondas and pythons pose a high risk to wildlife. (Notice they didn't say pose a risk to humans. .. ... ... yet)

Read the chilling article if you can find it by Burkhard Bilger, titled "Swamp Things" in the New Yorker April 20, 2009, page 80. It's amazing what we do out of desire and ignorance. "It's pretty, it's cool, it's bad!" It is an exotic animal and what happens to it when we can no longer care for it in captivity? The answers aren't pretty.

Here's a link to the abstract

The article focuses on Burmese pythons, which are now breeding in Florida. They mature and reproduce quickly and will eat anything. Burmese implies tropical but researchers have found that the species native habitat reaches up to the Himaylias. That means the python’s potential range is roughly a third of the contiguous United States. Yikes!

Think about a 6 foot alligator, how strong it is, then click on this Youtube to see how well it fared with a 13 foot python. Remember that pythons can grow to be over 20 long. Happy Halloween.

1 comment:

Paul Anater said...

You touched on one of my pet topics Patrick. The python situation here is real and it's growing rapidly. They have already spread out of the Everglades and can be found everywhere from Orlando to all points south. The time to ban the import of exotic species has long since passed. I hope that the introduction of these snakes can provide a lesson on the folly of the exotic animal trade, but I won't hold my breath.

Aside from that, your Wisteria Snake looks fantastic!